Saints U20s 2-4 Hearts U20s

Tuesday 3rd October

Saints Under 20s lost 4-2 to Hearts at McDiarmid Park this evening. Saints opened the scoring on 28 minutes when Liam Craig’s pinpoint cross was headed home by Callum Hendry, whose dad former Scotland Internationalist Colin Hendry was watching in the stand. Saints then doubled their lead on 38 minutes as Cameron Thomson broke to the by-line before beating Hearts keeper Kelby Mason at his near post. However, the visitors produced a stunning second half comeback as striker Euan Henderson scored four goals to secure the 3 points for Hearts.

MATCH REPORT

Saints Under 20s welcomed Hearts to McDiarmid Park this evening for a Development League game. There were several first team players included in the starting eleven for Alex Cleland’s side as Ally Gilchrist, Liam Craig and Denny Johnstone were all given game time.

Saints got the match underway shooting towards the North Stand and they created their first chance of the match after 2 minutes as Euan O’Reilly was fouled out on the right by Christopher Hamilton. The free kick was taken by Liam Craig and he floated the ball into the box but the danger was cleared by Hearts defender Kyle Smith.

Then a minute later Saints created another chance as from a corner Craig delivered a good ball into the box which found Callum Hendry at the back post but the striker’s header was gathered by Kelby Mason in the Hearts goal. Then shortly after Craig broke into the Hearts half on a swift counter before unleashing a strike from distance that went wide.

Hearts were awarded a corner on 14 minutes after Ally Gilchrist had cut out Euan Henderson’s cross. The corner was taken by Lewis Moore but the Saints defence comfortably cleared the danger.

Then on 17 minutes Saints were awarded a free kick out on the right after Hendry had been fouled by Aaron Reid. Craig took the free kick and his in-swinging ball was knocked onto Johnstone whose effort at goal from close range was brilliantly saved by Mason.

Hearts were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area 2 minutes later after Aidan Keena had been fouled by Gilchrist. The free kick was taken by Moore and he played it short to Marc Leonard whose effort was blocked by Liam Craig.

On 22 minutes Saints keeper Ben McKenzie made a brilliant save to deny Henderson and from the follow-up the Saints keeper easily gathered the strike by Alex Petkov.

Saints though took the lead on 28 minutes as Liam Craig delivered a great ball into the box which picked out Hendry who headed the ball past Mason and into the corner of the net.

With 9 minutes of the first half remaining Hearts created a chance as Moore setup Keena whose strike at goal was well held by McKenzie.

Saints then doubled their lead on 38 minutes as Cameron Thomson broke into the box and unleashed a shot at goal from a very tight angle that beat Mason at his near post.

The young Jambos were claiming for a penalty on 42 minutes after Henderson went down from a challenge in a crowded Saints box but the referee Dan McFarlane indicated that the ball had been won fairly.

Then just before half time Saints created another chance as Craig fed the ball into the path of Ally McCann who was breaking into the box but the midfielder’s effort was easily saved by Mason.

The visitors made a change at the start of the second half as Anthony McDonald came on for Lewis Moore.

The first booking of the game came on 56 minutes as Petkov was shown a yellow card for a foul on Liam Craig. Then a minute later Hearts pulled a goal back as Rory Currie played a through ball to Henderson and he raced in on goal before firing a low shot under McKenzie and into the net.

Hearts were now looking dangerous as they looked for the equaliser. On 69 minutes Keena played in Currie who had an effort at goal deflected for a corner. From Paton’s corner the ball fell to Henderson who unleashed a shot at goal from the edge of the area that was pushed behind for another corner by McKenzie.

The visitors pressure eventually told with 15 minutes remaining as Currie laid the ball off to Henderson and the young striker fired a great strike past McKenzie and into the top corner of the net for his and Hearts second of the evening.

On 81 minutes Saints created an opening as substitute Cameron Ballantyne cut the ball back to Craig who was just outside the box. However, the Saints midfielder couldn’t make a proper connection with the ball as his effort went well wide of the target.

Hearts though scored a third goal with 3 minutes remaining as Anthony McDonald got away from his marker and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which was turned onto the post by McKenzie however, Henderson was on hand to tap in the rebound to complete his hat-trick.

The scoring was not over as Hearts got a fourth in added on time as Henderson drove at the Saints defence before striking a low 20-yard effort past McKenzie to seal a stunning comeback for the visitors.

Saints U20s: McKenzie, Lumsden, Thomson, Jardine (Ballantyne 71), Quigley, Gilchrist, O’Reilly (Docherty 73), McCann, Hendry (Robertson 87), Craig, Johnstone

Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Brian, Wilson

Booked: Quigley, Lumsden

Scorers: Hendry (28), Thomson (38)

Hearts U20s: Mason, Brandon, Reid, Hamilton, K. Smith, Petkov (Paton 57), Moore (McDonald 45), Leonard, Keena, Currie, Henderson

Unused Substitutes: W. Gajda (GK), B. Gajda, Irving, C. Smith, Ritchie

Booked: Petkov, Paton

Scorers: Henderson (57, 75, 87, 90)

Referee: Dan McFarlane

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Cameron Thomson