First goals of the season for Kieran Shanks and Lewis Duncan, who grabbed a double, saw Aberdeen?s Under 18 side get the better of Hearts at a sunny Balmoral Stadium.
After wins against Hibernian, Celtic and Kilmarnock, Aberdeen?s Under 18s faced their counterparts from Tynecastle aiming to keep up their 100% start to the season.
With Connor Barron in the first team travelling party, there was a first start of the season for Tyler Mykyta, now recovered from a shoulder injury. Kyle Dalling also made his first league appearance of the campaign. Hearts fielded a very young team with five fifteen year olds and a fourteen your old in their starting line-up.
Mykyta had the first effort on goal, his fierce twenty yarder flying just over. A quick break from the visitors saw Kirk skew a shot wide after good build up play from Watson and Gordon. It was rather a lacklustre opening to the game with neither side gaining the upper hand.
On sixteen minutes, the deadlock was broken as Kieran Shanks powered a header past Spratt following a delightful cross from skipper Max Barry. The big man?s first goal of the season and one to be proud of.
Hearts responded positively and Ward fired in a couple of dangerous crosses which were well defended.
On 26 minutes a fine long ball from Mykyta sent Shanks racing in on goal, but on this occasion the striker pulled his shot well wide.
Shanks tried his luck from distance a couple of minutes later, his left-footed drive well saved by Spratt. Just beyond the half-hour mark, Barry was cautioned for a challenge in midfield. The game had become a bit scrappy and the Dons, although dominating possession, weren?t putting a great deal of pressure on the Hearts defence.
Hearts skipper McGill fired over after a clearance fell to him at the edge of the area. Another fine ball from the impressive Mykyta picked out Calvin Ramsay, but his cross was knocked behind by the Hearts defence for a corner. From the flag kick, Mykyta?s cross was met by the head of Kyle Dalling, but Spratt was well positioned to make the save look relatively easy.
The Dons made in two on 42 minutes. A quick free kick from Shanks sent Barry away on the right and his cutback was fired from the angle of the six yard box into the roof of the net by Lewis Duncan. Good awareness from Shanks and a fine finish by Duncan.
The Dons were now in the ascendancy and Ramsay tested the keeper as spaces began to open in the visitors? rearguard. Another raking pass from the cultured left foot of Mykyta picked out Barry who fired an inviting ball across the face of goal, but no-one in a red shirt was able to turn it in.
A solid, if patchy first half from the Dons who were worthy of their half-time lead.
Half time ? Aberdeen Under 18s 2 Hearts Under 18s 0
Shanks was again in the action early in the second half, his flicked header from Ramsay?s cross well saved by Spratt. Good work on the left from the powerful Dangana saw him pick out Barry with a cross, the skipper?s volleyed effort drifting wide.
Spratt excelled on 58 minutes, flinging himself to his right to divert a net-bound Barry shot wide. Like the first half, the second period was stuttering along rather than flowing to the obvious frustration of Barry Robson despite his team being two goals ahead.
Tyler Mykyta came off to well deserved applause after 75 minutes, his passing, particularly in the first half, a potent weapon in the home team?s armoury.
On 77 minutes, Lewis Duncan grabbed his second and the Dons third goal, his shot taking a deflection which confused Spratt who got a hand to the ball but couldn?t prevent it spinning over the line.
Ward almost caught Tom Ritchie out with a free-kick from about 40 yards out but the Dons keeper back-pedalled well to touch the ball on to the post and away to safety.
Hearts pulled a goal back with less than five minutes remaining when Denholm fired a pass from Hambrook high into the net. It turned out to be only a consolation as the Dons saw the game out, winning a little less convincingly than the scoreline would suggest.
Full time ? Aberdeen Under 18s 3 Hearts Under 18s 1