Tynecastle deservedly progressed in blustery conditions in what was to be a tight affair in the glamour second round tie of the Foundation of Hibs Supporters Cup. A solitary goal midway through the first half was enough for the hosts who adapted best to the conditions and ultimately appeared more confident in avoiding the swirling gales of the heavens and attacking via short and accurate passing along the ground.
It was to be the home side who threatened first from a freekick after Danny Cameron had been tugged back. Midfield maestro and one half of the Scott twins present in the starting eleven for Tynecastle, Kyle stepped up but the freekick was dealt with comfortably by Scott Page in the visiting goal.
In the windswept conditions at Saughton Park set pieces were always going to be difficult for the respective defences and it was from a corner where Hutchison Vale registered their first effort on goal. Rhys Surgeon met the cross firmly however the header flew harmlessly over.
Shortly afterwards Tynecastle had the ball in the back of the net. After another freekick effort from K. Scott had went for a corner the resulting set piece caused havoc in the visiting defence before the ball eventually found its way into the net, however to the dismay of the home side the referee adjudged that the final touch came from a Tynecastle player in an offside position.
Tynecastle continued to probe this time threatening from open play. Danny Cameron was found advancing in the space down the inside right channel after an intelligent ball from Connor Brydon. Scott had the awareness to square the ball to Calum Helm who had found space just inside the box however the Tynecastle number 10's right footed effort couldn't find away past Page who was equal to it.
Hutchie were next to threaten after a dazzling run from the impressive and aptly named Ryan Huthcison. The right winger displayed blistering pace leaving two men in his wake before putting in an inviting ball from the byline. The Tynecastle defence recovered well however to clear ahead of the advancing Hutchison Vale attack.
Next it was Jonny Grotlin to threaten for the visitors. After being afforded space around 30 yards from goal the striker took this as an invitation to let fly. It was an invitation the Hutchie number 9 accepted with alacrity sending a dipping right footed effort just past the base of the right hand post.
As the half progressed it was Tynecastle who appeared more comfortable with the ball on the deck and began to threaten the space behind the visitors defence. After a swift counter attack Stephen Scott found the run of Brydon in behind with a clever flick of the outside of his right boot. However Brydons first touch allowed the defence to recover just in time as the striker was looking to execute the finish.
The Tynecastle hitman was again to threaten shortly afterwards coming agonisingly close to opening the scoring. After Matthew Quinn had fed the ball to the striker he struck an effort from the right hand side of the box across goal. The shot looked destined to nestle in the bottom left hand corner however with Scott Page soundly beaten the ball came off the inside of the post and rebounded into the keepers arms.
Tynecastle were not to be denied for long as there period of pressure finally paid dividends. The lively Stephen Scott had played to the ball to the aforementioned Brydon who in turn found his strike partner with a cute through ball. Helm made no mistake lashing a right footed effort across goal into the bottom corner rounding off a lovely team move and handing the home side a deserved lead.
Tynecastle nearly doubled the visitors arrears from another dangerous set piece. S. Scott curled in an inviting ball from the freekick where Quinn rose highest but the defenced couldn't get his head over it as the ball sailed over.
Hutchison Vale were on the front foot next when for the first time in the game the visitors exchanged intricate and accurate passes in the final third. A nice move along the edge of the box from right to left culminated in Grotlin feeding Daniel Smith however the fullbacks effort was deflected wide from 25 yards.
The impressive and industrious S.Smith was the instigator in Tynecastles next opportunity. The winger strode forward with intent before feeding an intelligent through ball which found the well timed run of Brydon. The striker hit a powerful effort from the left handside of the box where Page had to be alert to claw away at the near post.
From the resulting corner Tynecastle nearly doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time. After another teasing ball aided by the wind had caused confusion in the defence, the ball eventually fell to K. Scott on the edge who struck a low controlled right footed drive just wide of the post.
The half time whistle sounded with Tyencastle holding a slender one goal advantage their play had merited, however there was certainly enough on show from the visitors to give them confidence they could draw level after the interval leaving the game nicely poised in anticipation of the second half.