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McLear helps young Buddies snatch all three points

Heart of Midlothian 1

Trialist, 40

St Mirren FC 2

McLear 65, 67
  • Monday, 14 November 2016
  • Ochilview Park
  • Under 20´s
  • SPFL Development League
A drenched Ochilview, home of Stenhousemuir FC, welcomed the two sides in this Development League clash between 14th placed Hearts and 10th placed St Mirren. The conditions would make the game a difficult one for both teams, however the level of entertainment was certainly enhanced by the skiddy surface and swirling wind. 
 
St Mirren brought a tad more experience to this fixture, whilst Hearts fielded a fairly young side, plus a Trialist. Chances were aplenty throughout the first half and St Mirren’s Nathan Flanagan was the bright spark from the 1st to the 90th minute. On 8 minutes though we saw the first real chance of the game when O’Keefe’s deflected the cross from the right wing found Lewis McClear at the near post, but his half volley dipped over the crossbar. 
 
Flanagan continued to cause problems from open play early on, but on 12mins it was a Flanagan set piece that found McClear at the back post. He headed back across the goal and found the back of the net only to be adjudged offside. The score remained 0-0. 
 
It wasn’t until the 16th minute when the young Hearts side carved out their first chance. Harry Paton pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box, but his half volley was well saved by Willison between the sticks. 
 
Soon after, Hearts had a penalty appeal turned away as Russell McClean hit the deck on the penalty spot. Chances were coming think and fast at either end now as both sides grappled with getting on top of the conditions. The 22nd minute saw another Hearts penalty appeal turned away. A firm shoulder to shoulder battle between McKendry and McLean again resulted with the young striker on the sodden plastic turf. Again, nothing from the referee. 
 
A healthy congregation in the Norway Stand, made up of mainly Hearts supporters, continued to witness chance after chance at either end, a goal seemed destined to come. On the 32nd minute St Mirren’s Stewart found a channel of space down the left flank and delivered a well placed cross to Flanagan at the near post. He couldn’t quite steer his left footed flick inside the near post and found the upright. Orsi was the quickest to react, but his shot sailed past the wrong side of the post. It remained 0-0. 
 
On 38 minutes we saw the first booking of the game when St Mirren’s McDonald appeared to trip Rory Currie who was on a clear pathway to goal. A straight red might have seemed harsh, but it was certainly borderline. Morrison’s resulting right footed bending free-kick sailed just past the upright. 
 
Given the abundance of chances thus far, its was surprising that the opening goal didn't come until the 40th minute. It was arguably against the run of play when the Hearts trialist, who 5 minutes earlier had switched from left midfield to right, found himself clear through on goal after a well timed through ball from Rory Currie. Trialist was clear of a napping Saints back line and calmly slotted the ball past Willison with a powerful finish at the near post. The Wee Jambos were 1-0 up at halftime. 
  • Half Time:
  • Heart of Midlothian
  • 1-0
  • St Mirren FC
The second half started with yet another penalty appeal at the same end of Ochilview, only this time it was for St Mirren. But as he did in the first half, the referee waved away appeals from Flanagan and co. 
 
It was far less frantic throughout most of the 2nd half as chances were few and far between compared to the 1st as St Mirren began to get a handle of the game. St Mirren’s McClear appeared to be playing in a slightly more advanced role this half and this definitely began to have an impact from the hour mark onwards. On 57 minutes, substitute McBreirty popped up 6 yards out from a Flanaghan corner. He did everything right and headed low and hard, but he found young Jambo keeper Kelby Mason in the way, he made himself big and blocked excellently from point blank range. 
 
McLear and Flanagan continued to be the prominent creators for St Mirren and on 65mins it was their involvement again that got St Mirren level. In the same way the Hearts trialist position change resulted in the opening goal, the same was to be true for McClear whose 2nd half role up front got the Saints level . A sensible through ball fro Orsi gave McLear the opportunity to cooly slot home, and that he did, 1-1. 
 
Less than 2 minutes later St Mirren found themselves ahead. Gallaghers right footed in-swinging corner met the left foot of McClear who arrived late in the 6 yard box, unmarked. McClear’s close range volley rattled the top corner on its way in. No chance for goalkeeper Mason. 2-1 St Mirren.
 
St Mirren settled into the 2nd half very comfortably after their two goals and we saw very little in the way of clear chances for the remainder of the game. Stalwart defending from Fawkes and McKendry at the heart of the Saints defence ensured their deserved lead was protected. A good all round team performance from St Mirren in difficult conditions. Flashes of brilliance from Flanagan throughout caught the eye, but this was McLear’s night. A performance well beyond his years. 
  • Full Time:
  • Heart of Midlothian
  • 1-2
  • St Mirren FC

Lineups

Heart of Midlothian
St Mirren FC
1. Kelby Mason
2. Yves Vladislav
3. Aaron Reid
4. Leon Jones
5. Kyle Smith
6. Harry Paton
7. Callum Morrison
8. Andy Irving
9. Rory Currie
10. Russell McLean
11. Trialist
12. Alistar Roy
13. Paul Gallacher
14. Marc Leonard
15. Jack Gillan
16. Harry Cochrane
1. Reece Willison
2. Cameron Macpherson
3. Jordon Stewart
4. Lee Fawkes
5. Dylan McKendry
6. Andrew MacDonald
7. Calum Gallagher
8. Lews McLear
9. Kalvin Orsi
10. Conor O’Keefe
11. Nathan Flanagan
12. Christopher Henry
14. Greig McNaughton
15. Craig Johnston
16. Conor McBrearty
17. Matthew Reilly
18. Euan East
Star Player
Heart of Midlothian
St Mirren FC
Leon Jones, as captain, led with elegance and maturity from the first minute to the last.
Nathan Flanagan looked a constant threat. His sharpish, pace and quick footwork was central to most Saints chances. He also delivered excellently from free kicks and conrers throughout.
Magic Moment
Heart of Midlothian
St Mirren FC
Rory Currie's through ball and Trialist finish to give the hosts the lead.
Lewis McLear's brace turned the game on its heads in an instant.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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