U20s defeat County

19th December 2017

The Wee Jambos beat Ross County 4-1 on Monday afternoon.

Hearts U20s made it three wins in a row in the SPFL Development League after dishing out a 4-1 defeat to Ross County at the Oriam Performance Centre.

Putting their SFA Youth Cup exit behind them, the Wee Jambos were three goals to the good after just twenty minutes following a superb opening salvo.

Continuing his fine run of form, Aidan Keena opened the scoring in spectacular fashion inside two minutes. Callumn Morrison sent a low cross in from the right, and the Irish striker took a touch to set himself before spinning and firing a volley into the top corner.

Keena came close to a second on ten minutes, when he latched on to a ball over the top from Chris Hamilton but his lobbed effort drifted agonisingly wide of the post.

Morrison’s pace was causing countless problems for the County backline, and his cross just evaded Keena a few moments later, while an Alex Petkov through-ball set up the winger for his own chance, but the County defence desperately cleared the ball.

From the resulting corner, Hearts doubled their advantage. The ball was played short to Andy Irving, who floated a ball in with his less-favoured right foot. Although it did seem like a cross, the ball evaded everyone and flew into the top corner.

From kick-off, Hearts made it three. The high pressing game that had worked so well for the first team against Celtic the day before was evident, and Keena closed down his marker, forcing a panicked pass that the striker intercepted, before racing clear and slotting the ball home for his 9th goal of an increasingly productive season.

The County defence were shellshocked but did manage to keep the Wee Jambos at bay until the second half, when the tactics of full-backs pushing forward produced more rewards. Right-back Jay Sandison burst into the box and threaded a ball across the six-yard line, missing everyone.

However, left-back Aaron Reid was steaming in on the other flank, and he hammered in another ball across the box that Dario Zanatta managed to convert from close range. The tempo of the game began to slow after that, with Hearts choosing to re-introduce Euan Henderson after a spell out with injury.

Morrison came close to grabbing a well deserved goal on 71 minutes, when Dean Ritchie played him in on goal, but his shot was superbly tipped onto the post. The visitors then netted a consolation, with Sam Morrison netted a free header to the chagrin of the defence and keeper Jack Hamilton.

That would prove to be the last action of the match as Hearts made it fifteen goals from their past three league games, for the loss of just two.

Hearts: J. Hamilton; Sandison, C. Hamilton, Baur, Reid (Ward 82); Petkov, Ritchie; Morrison, Zanatta, Irving (C. Smith 67); Keena (Henderson 62)