Hearts U20s saw off St Mirren U20s with a 1-0 win this evening at Oriam.
Malaury Martin’s early penalty was enough to hand the Wee Jambos a Development League victory.
Hearts got off to the best possible start, opening the scoring after four minutes. Euan Henderson was bundled over from behind when through on goal, and Martin made no mistake from the spot, drilling into the bottom right corner and sending David Wilson the wrong way.
The visitors had a chance to equalise two minutes later. Sam Jamieson was able to shrug off Bartlomiej Gajda inside the box, but from close range he shanked his effort wide of the target.
It could’ve been 2-0 after 10 minutes. Rico Quitongo raced down the left flank to send a ball over to Henderson, but he could only head straight at Wilson.
St Mirren created another chance on 20 minutes. A cut back from the right found Scott Glover inside the box, however the Saints man failed to find the target and hit one of his own players, with the shot going well wide of Kelby Mason’s left-hand post.
Henderson was presented with another chance a minute later, latching onto a through ball but Wilson closed down the gap and made a smart block when the forward tried to lift it over him.
Irving created a chance eight minutes into restart when he picked the ball up 20-yards out and turned his man inside out before firing low and on target, but straight down the throat of Wilson.
Substitute Dean Ritchie pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the box but could only blast over the bar, while a hat-trick of superb last-ditch blocks from Chris Hamilton kept the visitors at bay.
A wonderful defence-splitting pass from Irving saw Henderson run onto the ball at the edge of the box, but Wilson was quick off his line and managed to make a block as the Hearts youngster tried to take it round him.
St Mirren passed up their best chance of the half on 74 minutes. Jamieson’s cross to the edge of the box found Nathan Flanagan, but he skied his first-time effort over the crossbar.
Jamieson was the visitors’ most attacking threat, and in the 81st minute found a teammate with a swerving cross to the back door, but his shot was mishit and Mason was able to pounce on the danger.
Hearts nearly wrapped the game up with two minutes remaining. Substitute Brodie Strang’s shot from 18-yards took a deflection off a maroon shirt and the ball landed inches wide of Wilson’s right-hand post.
Hearts: Mason, Sandison, Quitongo (Logan, 79'), Hamilton, B.Gajda, Buaben (Ritchie, 46'), C.Smith, Martin, Henderson, Irving (Strang, 86'), Ward. Subs: W.Gajda, Grigor.
St Mirren: Wilson, Cameron, reid, Miller, McKendry, Erhahon, Glover, McBrearty, Jamieson, Reilly, Flanagan. Subs: Henry, Lavelle, Breadner.