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Jambos fringe stars edge out Livingston
HEARTS put out a team of first-team fringe players and youngsters against Livingston at Almondvale last night and came away with a 2-1 victory.
The Jambos forced a first minute corner kick but it was the hosts that created the first chance, Paul Shields firing a shot well wide from a long Jason Thomson pass, the defender on a season-long loan deal from Tynecastle.
And, although the Capital club had the bulk of possession without creating much, it was the Lions who again came close, Jamie MacDonald saving a Scott Mitchell shot and Allan Walker firing an effort into the side netting.
Neil McCann, back in action following injury, had a free-kick saved at the near post for a corner kick, with Saulius Mikoliunas also bringing out the best in the trialist keeper with a strong 20-yard shot.
On 33 minutes, Walker had a shot blocked by the Hearts defence and five minutes later Jamie Mole fired a McCann pass past the angle of post and crossbar.
Just before the interval, Mole had a further effort saved by the keeper and Juho Makela headed a Marco Pelosi cross just inches past the post.
Hearts did finally make the breakthrough seven minutes into the second half as John Neill headed home a right-wing cross from a trialist from close range.
Just 60 second later, half-time substitute Mirsad Beslija added a second goal, picking up the ball some 40 yards from goal, beating two men, before slotting home a fine shot.
The hosts made a few changes and pulled a goal back on 61 minutes, Steven Weir, with his first touch of the ball, slotting a Daryl Smylie pass past a helpless MacDonald.
Both teams made further changes in the closing stages that affected the flow of the game and the closing minutes were, predictably, not much of a spectacle for the small crowd that had turned out to watch the clash.
Late on, Livingtson's Sean Kerr looked to have grabbed a late equaliser for his side but his header was disallowed as a team-mate strayed marginally offside to deny John Robertson's men a draw.
Livingston: Trialist, Thomson, Miller, McPake, Tweed, Mitchell, Walker (Davidson 58), Makel, Shields (Hislop 52), Smylie (Kerr 73), Craig (Weir 61). Subs not used: Monteith, Scott, Adamson.
Hearts: MacDonald. Trialist (Kelly 77), Pelosi, Lithgow, Armstrong (Brown 88), Johnson, McCann (Beslija 46), Neill (Jonsson 75), Makela (Thorarinsson 54), Mole, Mikoliunas 46). Subs not used: Bjornsson.
Taken from the Scotsman