Hearts were eliminated from the SFA Youth Cup at the fourth round stage last night following a defeat to Hibs at Oriam.
Despite dominating the majority of the match, the Wee Jambos were left ruining slackness at both ends of the park.
Hibs had the first chance of the match when Ryan Shanley got in behind the Hearts defence, but the forward put his shot wide.
At the other end of the park, Leeroy Makovora came close when a ball from Dean Ritchie sat up invitingly, but his overhead effort went past the post.
Harry Stone was then forced into a fine save when Shanley tried his luck from 30 yards out, but the young keeper was alert enough to tip the shot over the bar.
Hearts then came closest to opening the deadlock. Ryan Schiavone was brought down on the right wing, and from the resulting Connor Smith free-kick, Schiavone nodded down to Aaron Hickey, but Hickey’s effort hit the cross bar.
Chris Hamilton then drew a superb save from Jay Cantley in the Hibs goal, when he met a Smith free kick at the back post, but his header across goal was palmed away.
Just when it seemed like the half would end goalless, Hibs snuck in at the other end of the park and earned a penalty after a foul from Stone. Shanley’s penalty lacked conviction but it crept under Stone’s body to give Hibs the lead.
After the interval, Hearts went to sleep again. A deep free kick into the box found an unmarked Mackenzie Weir at the back post, and the centre-half nodded home.
Encouraged by John Rankin on the touchline, the Wee Jambos didn’t give up. Makovora had a chance to get a goal back, but Cantley was out smartly to block.
Hearts then got themselves a lifeline when Makavora played the ball through to Hickey who was tripped in the area. Ritchie converted the spot kick with aplomb by sending the keeper the wrong way.
Makovora then dramatically won another penalty for Hearts after a free-kick feel at his feet and he was crudely taken out, but this time Cantley guessed right and saved from Ritchie.
Hamilton then tried his luck from distance and the shot went just wide, before the final chance of the match fell to Scott McGill. Makovora burst down the right wing and cut the ball back, but Cantley produced a stunning save as Hibs held on.
Hearts: Stone, Logan, Watson (Charleston-King 62’), Ritchie, Leddie, Hamilton, Hickey, Smith, Makovora, McGill, Schiavone. Subs: Spratt, Docherty, Darge, Strange, Somers, Ramos.
Hibs: Cantley, Blaney, Yeats, Weir, O’Conner, Furness, Woods, Fairley (Wilson 23’), O’Connor (Moore 74’), Shanley (Grigor 78’), Gallantes. Subs: Duncan, Caldwell, Moore, Wilson, Hero, Grigor, McRitchie.
Image courtesy of Ron MacNeill.