A very young Reserve side lost 3-2 to 10-man Hamilton at the Fountain of Youth Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Andy Kirk's side featured two 16 year-olds, two 17-year-olds and a bench full of teenagers as they took on an experienced Hamilton side.
It was an even start to the game, with Hearts looking strong in attack through their front four of Lewis Moore, Euan Henderson, Connor Smith and the returning Anthony McDonald - playing his first game since the League Cup group stages.
The opening goal almost came through Smith, after a wonderful flick on from Henderson put him through on goal, but the attacker hesitated and could only put his right-footed effort just wide.
Hamilton took advantage, and punished Hearts for a mistake at the back. Under no pressure, Dan Baur slipped on the surface allowing David Moyo to rush through on goal for his first of the day.
Smith then had another chance, which would have been a contender for goal of the season. McDonald sent through Smith with a lovely flick, before the latter played a nice one-two with Henderson that saw him one-on-one. This time, he went left, but again curled his effort wide.
Again, Hamilton were clinical and they doubled their lead on 38 minutes. Regan Mimnaugh whipped his corner to the back-post and Moyo rose highest to bullet a header past Silva. In the process, Dean Ritchie was clattered and he was replaced by debutant Aidan Denholm, who turned 16 just four days ago.
The Jambos weren't out of the game though, and got one back before half-time. Leo Watson, playing in an unfamiliar centre-midfield role, controlled a loose ball in the box before finding Henderson, who fired low across Southwood to half the deficit.
Into the second-half, and it only took Hearts five minutes to find the leveller. Lewis Moore made a nice run down the left and cut back to Henderson, who took a great touch before finding the bottom corner with a left-footed effort.
Henderson had the chance for his hat-trick not long later, after being slipped in by Smith, but this time Southwood was equal to it.
It looked like the tide had fully turned in Hearts favour on 68 minutes, when Hamilton midfielder Will Collar was bookeds twice in the space of a minute and got his marching orders.
Despite the disadvantage, the hosts would score just three minutes later. Moyo turned provider, flicking a header onto Andreas Beck who fired low past Kevin Silva from the edge of the box.
Hearts huffed and puffed but couldn't find a way back into the game, and Hamilton scooped up all three points.
Hamilton: Southwood; Blair, Fjørtoft, McAndrew, Scullion; Hughes, Collar, Mimnuagh, Beck; Moyo, Reilly.
Subs: Connelly; Grigor, Forrest, Adedoyin, Redfern, Harris, Garrad
Hearts: Silva; Logan, Darge, Baur, Sandison © (Schiavone, 56’); Ritchie (Denholm, 38’), Watson; McDonald (Makovora, 80’), Smith, Moore; Henderson
Subs: Stone; Ward, Charleston-King, Docherty
Ref: Ross Birrell
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