Hearts U20s twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Hibs in their opening league game of the season.
Jamie Gullan put the hosts ahead on 14 minutes before Bjorn Johnsen pulled the Jambos level on the stroke of half-time. Gullan then grabbed his second to restore Hibs’ lead after the restart, but substitute Russell McLean sealed a point with a close range strike on 71 minutes.
The Wee Jambos faced the Hibees in front of a healthy crowd at the brand new Oriam Performance Centre at Riccarton.
Jon Daly handed a start to no less than four senior players, with Swedish goalkeeper Viktor Noring featuring between the sticks. New signings Krystian Nowak and Bjorn Johnsen also featured, as did Robbie Muirhead.
The hosts also opted to field a handful of first team players, with the likes of Jordan Forster, Alex Harris and Fraser Fyvie named in the starting eleven.
Chances were few and far between during the opening stages, before the game came to life on 14 minutes when Jamie Gullan hit a volley beyond Noring from just inside the box.
Hearts’ Harry Paton then released Johnsen minutes later, but the striker’s snapshot was punched wide by the keeper. Zanatta and Muirhead both sent efforts wide of goal soon after, before Noring made a great save to deny Shaw up the other end.
The Wee Jambos’ equaliser duly arrived on 43 minutes. Johnsen harassed the Hibs defenders, forcing them into a pass-back to Marciano. The keeper’s attempted clearance came off Johnsen who duly fired the loose ball into the net.
Both sides had chances to score during the early stages of the second half, with Shaw, Irving and Zanatta going close at either end. The hosts then restored their lead shortly before the hour mark when Gullan steered a header into the bottom right corner.
The Jambos responded by bringing on Rory Currie and Russell McLean in place of Muirhead and Johnsen. The move would prove crucial as McLean fired home the equaliser ten minutes later.
A fine move down the right saw Jamie Brandon feed Zanatta, who in turn hit the byline before teeing up McLean. The big striker calmly slotted the ball into the empty net to make it 2-2.
Neither side was able to find a winner in the final 20 minutes as the first Wee Derby of the season ended with a share of the spoils.
Hibs: Marciano, Donaldson, Crane, Forster, Porteous, Martin, Harris, Fyvie, Shaw, Gullan, Murray. Subs not used: Waugh, Watson, Smith, Paton.
Hearts: Noring, Godinho (Brandon '25), Nowak, Baur, Reid, Petkov, Irving, Paton, Muirhead (Currie '61), Johnsen (McLean '61), Zanatta. Subs not used: Mason, Jones, Morrison, Vladislav.