Hearts U20s were denied all three points against Kilmarnock yesterday after conceding a cruel injury time own goal.
The Wee Jambos had led throughout the majority of the match thanks to Robbie Buchanan’s close range strike, but a minute into stoppage time Brad McKay turned the ball into his own net to give Killie a share of the spoils.
Jack Ross was able to call upon the services of first-team players McKay, Scott Gallacher, Billy King, Prince Buaben and Soufian El Hassnaoui, while the visitors featured former Hearts midfielder Jamie Hamill.
The game was fairly evenly matched in the opening stages, with Angus Beith flashing an early shot wide and Killie’s Greg Kiltie missing the target from 25-yards after collecting Buaben’s stray pass.
Beith and Paul Cairney both failed to capitalise on edge of the box free-kicks, before Hearts took the lead just after the half-hour mark.
Gary Oliver sent over a cracking ball from the right which eluded ‘keeper Devlin Mackay, and Buchanan was on hand to touch home from six-yards.
The visitors’ Trialist proved a handful for the home defence, cracking Gallacher’s right-hand post moments after the goal.
Mackay pulled off two good saves after the break, first from Beith’s snapshot and then denying King from the tightest of angles.
The Trialist pulled off the miss of the match just before the hour mark, ballooning over from six-yards from a cutback when the goal was at his mercy.
A quickfire brace of Oliver shots dropped over the bar and wide of the post, before Gallacher pulled off a great save with two minutes remaining to keep the Wee Jambos’ noses in front.
When it looked like Hearts would hold out for the win, Ross’ side were dealt a harsh blow a minute into injury time.
The impressive Kiltie fired an effort across goal from the right, which bounced off the backtracking McKay and in off the post.
A heartbreaking end to the match for the Wee Jambos, which will have given Player Development Manager Ross plenty food for thought.