Football Academy

Hibs 0-1 Hearts: Wee Jambos win at HTC

18th March 2022

Callum Hambrook’s second-half winner saw Hearts emerge with the bragging rights in the Edinburgh Derby at the Hibs Training Centre tonight.

A phenomenal team effort, following on from a 3-2 triumph over Celtic at Oriam earlier in the week, capped off a fine week for Steven Naismith’s Wee Jambos. Hambrook’s winner was supplemented by a first-half penalty save for Liam McFarlane, whose fine displays between the sticks on his return from injury contributed to the win.

Naisy stuck with the same line up that sank Celtic - with the game kicking off at a frenetic pace, as is to be expected. Connor Young and Josh O’Connor strung together some impressive movements for the young Hibs, calling the defensive duo of Michael Aitken and Luke Rathie into action.

Maculay Tait threatened early with a tidy through ball to Bobby McLuckie – whose rampaging run to the byline was battered to safety by Jacob Blaney. Hearts were brilliantly brutal on the counter, catching Hibs on the backfoot multiple times in the search for a goal.

One such attack was sparked by Callum Sandilands, who supplied Murray Thomas in the middle. Thomas clattered through the Hibs defence, catching Hibs ‘keeper Murray Johnson off his line. Were it not for a rapid reaction from the Hibs defence to crowd him out, Hearts could have been one to the good.

A golden opportunity fells Hibs’ way on the twenty-minute mark: a foul on Murray Aiken in the home side’s box prompted the referee to point to the spot. Josh O’Connor stepped up, but a save of the highest quality from Liam McFarlane kept the scoresheet blank for the time being.

Hearts were quick to respond: a sweeping team move from the Wee Jambos nearly culminated in a spectacular finish for Makenzie Kirk, his effort whizzing over the bar – his energetic movements up front kept Hibs guessing all night.
A Callum Flatman header went a mere whisker wide from a corner, whilst McFarlane produced more typically brilliant saves at the other end of the park to keep things a deadlock going into half-time.

Hibs emerged from the break with the bit between their teeth, McFarlane called into action once again to keep things moving: a fine fingertips save from a Jacob Blaney free-kick and a big reaction stop from a Kenayo Megwa bullet header.

Following on from the Celtic win, Naisy wanted his team to show more bravery on the ball – and the boys took that advice on, confidently stroking the ball about the park as Hearts started to get into the groove.

Macaulay Tait was particularly industrious, beautifully nicking the ball from the feet of Ethan Laidlaw to snuff out a dangerous Hibs attack on the edge of the area. In truth, the whole team was playing to their potential – and there were no surprises when Hearts raced into the lead after 78 minutes.

Hot on the counter, a real high point in Hearts’ play for large chunks of the evening, culminated in substitute Callum Hambrook steering the ball over the line. It was fine attacking play from Hearts, and his teammate blasted the ball past Johnson to put it beyond all doubt.

A titanic defensive showing followed, marshalled superbly from the back, with Michael Aitken and his colleagues battering every subsequent Hibs attack to safety.

The full-time whistle came, much to the delight of the lads on the park.

‘Mon the Wee Jambos!

Hibs: Johnson, J. Macintyre, O. Macintyre, Blaney, McCulloch, Megwa, Aiken, Laidlaw, O’Connor (Zaid 67’), Young, Hamilton (Molotnikov, 75’)

Subs: Wylie, Zaid, Molotnikov, Hastie

Hearts: McFarlane, Aitken, Flatman, Tait, Thomas, Kirk, Sandilands, Simpson (Gordon 77’), Ross (Hambrook 64’), McLuckie (Forrester 88’), Rathie

Subs: Paris, Hambrook, Chisholm, Anderson, Forrester, Wilson, Gordon