Rangers booked their place in the quarter final of the Scottish FA Youth Cup with a comprehensive win over Hearts at Edinburgh’s Oriam Centre today. Fresh off the back of a midweek win over Jon Daly’s young Jambos, a double from Liam Burt added to a hat-trick from Ryan Hardie sealed the ‘Gers safe passage into the last-eight against last season’s beaten finalists. Amongst the substitutes for Rangers was hotly-tipped youngster Billy Gilmour.
It was the hosts who took the lead when, against the bulk of the play and despite strong suspicions of offside, Christopher Hamilton headed beyond Robby McCrorie from close range. It didn’t take long for Graeme Murty’s side to draw level though when, ten minutes after falling behind, Liam Burt was quickest to react to a rebound off the post and fire home.
Both sides looked to get themselves into a lead before the break but it was Rangers who managed to break the deadlock just before half-time when Ryan Hardie, 24 hours removed from being an unused substitute in St. Mirren’s 3-1 loss at Falkirk, tucked home a penalty in the 41st minute.
Rangers started the second half aiming to extend their advantage and both Max Ashmore and Liam Burt tested Jambos ‘keeper Kelby Mason but it was Ryan Hardie who gave the Gers a two-goal cushion with less than half an hour remaining. Liam Burt’s cutback found the striker a in the penalty area and he clinically finished. Eight minutes later Hardie ensured he was taking the match ball home when he picked up a ball over the top before dispatching an early strike beyond Mason to virtually assure Rangers place in the next round.
Euan Henderson pulled one back a few minutes later to give the Jambos hope of launching a comeback but Rangers were comfortable in seeing the result out before Liam Burt added a phenomenal strike in injury time. Spotting Kelby off his line, Burt fired home over the helpless ‘keeper from 35 yards.
Rangers will now join Old Firm rivals Celtic, Ayr United, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Falkirk, Partick Thistle and Youth Cup holders Motherwell in the the quarter final draw.
Hearts: Mason, Vladislav, Reid, Jones, Hamilton, Paton, Morrison, Cochrane, Currie, Irving, Henderson
Subs: McLean, Gajda, Petkov, Smith, Leonard, Gillan, Sandison
Goals: Hamilton (14’), Henderson (76’)
Rangers: Robby McCrorie, Ross McCrorie, Beerman, Barjonas, Bradley, Wilson, Burt, Ashmore, Lyon, Rudden
Subs: Atayaki, Houston, Jeffries, Gibson, Gilmour, Thomson, Wright
Goals: Burt (25’, 90+’), Hardie (41’(p), 63’, 71’)