Hearts U20s signed off their Development League season with a fine 3-1 win over city rivals Hibs this afternoon at Oriam.
The game sprung into life in the second-half after a goalless first period when Sam Nicholson put the Wee Jambos ahead before Rory Currie doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Fraser Murray pulled one back for the visitors but Ally Roy put the shine on superb victory with a great solo goal.
Roy proved a thorn in Hibs’ side from the off, getting on the end of a few through balls but some resolute defending prevented him from getting any shots in on goal.
Alex Harris and Nicholson both tried their luck from outside the area but neither could find the target, before Angus Beith shanked an effort well wide following a Roy cross.
Callum Donaldson put in a dangerous ball across the six-yard box in the 25th minute but Viktor Noring got a strong hand to it to clear the danger.
Hearts should’ve taken the lead ten minutes later when Lewis Moore sent Currie clean through but the striker could only shoot straight at Paddy Martin in the Hibs goal.
The Wee Jambos were edging closer as the half came to an end, with Christopher Hamilton heading wide from Moore’s corner before Nicholson’s 25-yard drive was tipped around the post by Martin.
Jon Daly’s side got their noses in front six minutes into the restart. Moore hit a spectacular through ball - which travelled at least 60-yards – for Nicholson to get in front of his man and slot beyond Martin from inside the box.
Hibs nearly equalised soon after when Olly Shaw rose to meet a corner at the near post but he could only head wide.
It was 2-0 just after the hour mark. Moore weaved his way into the box before being bundled over, and Currie stepped up to fire past Martin.
The visitors halved the deficit on 64 minutes. Shaw knocked down a cross to the edge of the box for Fraser Murray to hit a stunning half-volley which flew into the corner of the net, giving Noring no chance.
Currie then had a brace of chances to kill the game off. He was laid on a plate by substitute Dario Zanatta, who had waltzed through the Hibs defence before teeing up the striker, only to miss the target. The 19-year-old was then threaded through to go one-on-one with Martin, but the ‘keeper came out on top.
Hibs piled on the pressure but a moment of real quality won the game for Hearts. Roy chased a long ball out to the touchline before cutting inside and away from his man before curling an unstoppable effort past Martin and into the back of the net.
There were chances late on when Noring tipped a Shaw shot over the bar before Morrison’s bicycle kick flew over the crossbar, but the score remained 3-1 and Hearts capped off their U20s season with a deserved derby victory.
Hearts: Noring, Brandon, Rherras, Hamilton, Jones, Petkov, Nicholson (Zanatta, 55’), Beith, Roy, Currie (Paton, 88’), Moore (Morrison, 80’). Subs: Mason, Akers, Henderson, Irving.