Dunfermline 2 Hearts 4

SFA Youth Cup Fourth Round: Rocco Friel (1) 0-1: James Wilson (6) 0-2: Jake Sutherland (45) 1-2: James Wilson (81) 1-3: Mark Beveridge (85) 2-3: James Wilson (88) 2-4:

Heart of Midlothian and Dunfermline battle it out for a place in the quarter final of this season’s SFA Youth Cup where Rangers await the winners. Both teams received byes in the first and second round. In the third round Dunfermline defeated St Mirren 4-2 on penalties after the tie ended 2-2. Hearts had a resounding 10-2 win over Deveronvale in the third round and in their last three matches have won and lost games against Rangers and drawn with Celtic. Dunfermline go into the tie after defeats away to Hamilton and Ross County and a home win over Livingston.

The Dunfermline team saw two changes from the one that defeated St Mirren, Jake Sutherland and Liam Middleton starting in place of Sam Young and Logan Kudesia. The visitors were without Matthew Gillies, Louie Selfridge and Mackenzie Ross. Their striker James Wilson came into the game with six goals in his last four U18 matches.

The Jambos started 8 2006s, 2 2007s and 1 2008 which was the goalie. Dunfermline four 2006, 5 2007s and 2 2008s which meant they were up against a slightly older opposition.

Hearts got off to a lightning start finding the Fifers net in just 43 seconds. Dunfermline had kicked off and Freddie Rowe had played a ball towards the Hearts goal but keeper Lyndon Tas belted a huge ball up the park. Wilson and McLuckie combined before sending in the ball from the left that Rocco FRIEL converted at the back post. 0-1

The visitors doubled their lead in sixth minute after Kenzi Nair and Lucas Smith played the ball up the left and when the cross came in it was met at the near post by WILSON. 0-2

Dunfermline forced a corner in 16 minutes, it was taken short by Mark Beveridge to Ewan McLeod who returned it for Beveridge to cross. Skipper Nair headed away and Liam Hoggan was charged down 25 yards out before he could execute his shot. 

Wilson had headed an opportunity wide before Dunfermline successfully defended a corner from the right on the half hour. Aidan Meikle was out to thwart Stevenson, sliding out into the Hearts players feet on the right side of the penalty box. There was good defending from Hoggan as well to halt Hearts progress. 

The home side had recovered well from the early shock of going two behind but Hearts still enjoyed the majority of the possession. Kai Smutek was yellow carded for blasting the ball into Sutherland and from the 40th minute free kick Dunfermline managed to press and Sutherland was fed a half chance from Middleton but his attempt from ten yards out was blocked.

In 44 minute Sutherland was taken down just outside the Hearts box on the left side and the striker assumed responsibility for the free kick. SUTHERLAND masterly cleared the Hearts wall to bulge the far side of the net. 1-2

Meikle had to save a Wilson shot in time added on at the end of the first half and so the Pars went in trailing by one goal

Half time: Dunfermline 1 Hearts 2

There were no changes made by either benches at half time although Conley Adamson and Liam Hoggan changed wings. It was Sutherland who created a very good chance for himself in 53 minutes. Really troubling his marker he managed to work his way in on the left side of the Hearts box and he got in a fierce shot that came back off his near post. 

The belief that they could retrieve the tie seemed to be there and Rowe came close to an equaliser when he headed a 55th minute corner from the right the wrong side of his near post. Sutherland won another corner two minutes later but Hearts defended that. Yet another corner followed in 61 minutes and two headed attempts by McHale and Rowe ended up eventually up in the hands of Tas.

Hearts were soaking up Dunfermline’s pressure. Tas held a low effort from Rowe before play stopped for treatment for Sutherland. The striker limped off and in 69 minutes was replaced by Lucas Fyfe. At the same point Jay Snoddy was brought on for Daniel Bell.

The interruption in play worked in the visitors favour and they began to get some of their composure back. Snoddy had made Tas hold a shot from outside the box before in 81 minutes WILSON took advantage of the merest of slips in defence, just enough for the Hearts striker to breakaway from 30 yards out to round Meikle and net. 1-3

Dunfermline put together some attractive play down the left to allow Rowe to cross along the six yard box all the way to BEVERIDGE to make it 2-3 with five minutes remaining. Unfortunately within three minutes WILSON worked his way in from the left to slip the ball past Meikle for his hat-trick. 2-4

Pars keeper Meikle made a good save to deny Wilson another in added time but Dunfermline exit the SFA Youth Cup. They certainly made the Premiership club work with a spirited second half performance.

DUNFERMLINE: Aidan Meikle: Conley Adamson, John Tod (c), Kian McHale, Liam Hoggan: Ewan McLeod, Freddie Rowe, Mark Beveridge, Daniel Bell (Jay Snoddy 69), Jake Sutherland (Lucas Fyfe 69), Liam Middleton (Kyle Davidson 63).
SUBS NOT USED: Neil Blake, Logan Kudesia, Anthony Gillan, Lewis Briggs (GK).
SCORERS: J Sutherland (45), Beveridge (85)

HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN: Lyndon Tas: Alexander Walker, Kai Smutek, Kenzi Nair (c): Rocco Friel (Owen Muirhead 63), Gregor Crookston, Harvey Chisholm, Lucas Smith: Bobby McLuckie, Gus Stevenson (Gregor Burn 63): James Wilson
SUBS NOT USED: Jamie Anderson, Euan Banks, Alfie Hutchison, Syzmon Plesiewicz, Coupar Wilkie (GK)
SCORERS: Friel (1), Wilson (6, 81, 88)
YELLOW CARD: Smutek (40), Tas (79)

REFEREE: Kenny Brown
Greg Shields post match thoughts

NEXT MATCH: away v St Johnstone, Friday 19th January 2024 kick off TBC

SFA Youth Cup: 13/10/23 – Dunfermline 2 St Mirren 2

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