Hearts under-19s 3
A VERY youthful under-19 side, including four fifteen-year-olds on the bench, chalked up a comfortable 3-1 win in this friendly match at Penicuik Park.
The opening ten minutes were of an even nature, in front of a reasonable crowd enjoying the pleasant weather but, on 11 minutes, a blunder in the Penicuik rearguard gave Hearts striker Ryan Wallace a chance, though his shot drifted wide of the goal.
The hosts immediately retaliated with Kevin Milne supplying a pass for Martin Cameron to poke a shot past a post. This, however, proved the end of Martin's contribution, the player forced to retire from the action following a collision with Hearts 'keeper Haljmar Bjornsson. On 15 minutes Hearts' Matthew Park volleyed a 20-yard shot just over the crossbar, while at the other end a Chris Gordon shot was deflected for a corner kick, and Bjornsson clutched a Chris Gray volley under the crossbar.
On 24 minutes Bjornsson made a fine save from a close-range Paul Lindsay volley following a deep cross from Keith Salton, as the action swung from end to end. Then, on 33 minutes, Hearts took the lead when a Mark Forker free-kick was spilled by keeper Roddy McLeod, allowing Ally Divine to knock the loose ball home from close range. Five minutes later Penicuik were unlucky not to equalise, a John Harvey 20-yard shot crashing back off the crossbar with Bjornsson helpless. And on the stroke of half-time Hearts scored a second goal as Park's 20-yard right-foot volley clipped a post on the way into the net.
The second period began with Penicuik on the attack, Paul Forbes sending an effort just wide of a post. But overall, in a second half of many changes by both sides, the heat seemed to take effect on the action. A Hearts trialist striker and Wallace both missed chances in one-on-one situations with McLeod, Wallace in particular unlucky on more than one occasion to be foiled by the Penicuik 'keeper.
On 79 minutes Hearts added a third from a shot by the trialist from the edge of the box following a slick inter-passing move with Park. Two minutes later Penicuik pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, after Jonathon Brown was adjudged to have fouled Harvey in the box, Harvey himself leaving Bjornsson helpless with the kick.
Hearts coach Stevie Frail was delighted with the result and performance of his side, who begin their League campaign on August 12. "We had a few of the lads on duty at Berwick and brought in some of the younger age group on the bench. I thought that they all did exceptionally well against more experienced opponents."
Penicuik: McLeod, Small, Gray, Salton, Foster, Ryrie, Gordon, Cameron, Harvey, Milne, Forbes. Subs: Gibb, Lindsay, Ure, Porteous, Kerr, Hope, Selwyn.
Hearts under-19s: Bjornsson, Divine, MacDonald, Stewart, Brown, Baxter (Woods 75), McKenzie (Thompson 57), Wallace (Cowan 64), Trialist, Forker (Cooper 83), Park.