Tuesday 10th April
For the second time this season Saints Under 20s surrendered a 2-0 half time lead to Hearts as the Jambos won 3-2 this evening at a very wet Oriam Performance Centre.
Saints took the lead on 20 minutes courtesy of a Kyle McClean strike. Then 2 minutes before half time Jamie Docherty doubled Saints lead with a neat finish.
However, the hosts pulled a goal back on the hour mark courtesy of an Alex Petrov header. Then the big midfielder levelled the match on 71 minutes as his shot took a horrible deflection off Ciarán Brian to take it away from Zander Clark.
Hearts then secured the win with 7 minutes remaining as Lewis Moore rounded Clark before slotting the ball into the net.
Saints Under 20s were at the Oriam Performance Centre this evening for a Development League game against Hearts on the outdoor pitch. Alex Cleland’s side were looking to continue their good form that has seen them win their last two games against Motherwell and Kilmarnock.
Saints got the match underway in the heavy rain. However, it was the hosts who created the first chance on 5 minutes as a through ball set Zanatta free as he burst into the box but Zander Clark made a good save with his right leg before Saints cleared the danger.
Saints then created an opportunity to break the deadlock a minute later as Jamie Mackenzie switched the ball to Jamie Docherty and the attacker had a strike at goal that was saved by Jambos keeper Kelby Mason. Saints were playing with confidence and on 7 minutes Docherty turned provider as he setup Mackenzie who put his effort wide of the target.
Saints were looking dangerous on the attack, with Docherty’s pace causing problems for the Hearts defence. On 17 minutes Docherty had another shot at goal which was deflected for a corner. Saints pressure eventually told as they took the lead on 20 minutes as an Ally McCann cross picked out Kyle McClean who despatched a low shot past Mason.
On the half hour mark Ciarán Brian had an effort at goal that didn’t trouble Mason.
Despite Saints dominating large spells of the first half the hosts were still a threat and on 32 minutes Clark spilled a Euan Henderson strike but the Saints keeper got up quickly to push the ball behind for a corner before Anthony McDonald could make a connection with the loose ball. Then with 6 minutes of the first half remaining Callumn Morrison sent an inviting ball into the Saints box however, none of the Hearts attackers could make a connection with the ball as the Saints defence cleared the danger.
Then 2 minutes before half time Saints doubled their lead as a great through ball picked out Docherty and he advanced with it into the box before slotting it past Mason.
Saints almost got a third 3 minutes into the second half as Cameron Thomson slipped the ball into the path of McCann whose strike hit the side netting.
Morrison again caused problems for the Saints defence on 53 minutes as his ball into the box picked out Henderson who put his effort wide of the target.
The hosts then made a change on 59 minutes as Alex Petkov came on to replace Dean Ritchie and the big midfielder had an immediate impact. As a minute later a Zanatta free kick from the left was floated into the box and Petrov rose to power a header high past Clark and into the net.
Hearts were now coming more into the match as Saints struggled to get back into their rhythm and it was not long until the match was level. On 71 minutes a Lewis Moore pass picked out Petrov and his strike took a wicked deflection off Brian to deceive Clark as the ball landed in the net.
Saints made an immediate change as Oliver Hamilton came on for Jamie Mackenzie however, the young Jambos continued to ask questions of the Saints defence. On 72 minutes Clark had to look lively as he tipped over an Irving shot. Then 6 minutes later Petrov put his free kick wide of the target.
Hearts pressure eventually told as they took the lead on 83 minutes. A through ball by Daniel Baur caused confusion between Jack Wilson and Ben Quigley and Moore was able to nip in and get the ball. The midfielder then advanced into the box, rounding Clark, before slotting the ball into the net.
It could have got even worse for Alex Cleland’s side as on 90 minutes Aidan Keena’s angled lob over Clark hit the post before the Saints defence cleared the danger.
Saints did create an opportunity to level the match deep into added on time as Thomson’s curling effort was saved by Mason. However, the hosts held out to secure the three points.
Hearts U20s: Mason, Sandison, Baur, Ritchie (Petkov 59), Hamilton, Irving (Smith 79), Morrison, Zanatta, Henderson (Kenna 65), McDonald, Moore
Unused Substitutes: W. Gajda (GK), Quitongo, B. Gajda, Currie
Booked: Irving, Hamilton
Scorers: Petkov (60, 71), Moore (83)
Saints U20s: Clark, Lumsden, Wilson, Quigley, Brian, McClean, Ballantyne, McCann, Mackenzie (Hamilton 60), Docherty, Thomson
Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Green, Donald
Booked: Thomson, Lumsden, Brian
Scorers: McClean (20), Docherty (43)
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Jamie Docherty
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