Under 18’s: Blow as Jambos bag late winner

Kilmarnock’s Under 18’s suffered a late blow against Hearts at Rugby Park.

The Ayrshire side initially led thanks to Zander Craik’s stunning solo goal, but Rocco Friel and Bobby McLuckie fired the Jambos ahead.

Nathan Smith then equalised as Killie pushed for a winner, but it was the Edinburgh side who sealed three points when Gus Stevenson fired home from distance in stoppage-time.

It took just five minutes for the hosts to get themselves in front thanks to Craik who went on a mazy run before calmly slotting into the bottom corner.

Rocco Friel of Hearts had a decent chance in the 17th minute as he jumped highest after a cross into the box, but he couldn’t keep his header down but Corey Armour watched it sail over.

Grant Marchant almost scored a stunning free-kick from 20 yards but it fizzed narrowly wide of the post.

Hearts’ Bobby McLuckie fired a curling effort from 20 yards just after the half hour mark, but it went wide of an outstretched Armour’s right-hand post.

Hearts looked sure to score just before half-time as they closed in goal, but Andrew Miller made an incredible last-ditch block to stop a cutback.

Ben Brannan then had a shot from the edge of the box saved as the whistle blew for the break with Killie leading 1-0.

Friel then equalised for the Jambos as he fired home a volley from inside the area in the 57th minute.

McLuckie then fired a stunning strike into the top corner in the 62nd minute to gives the Jambos a 2-1 lead.

Two minutes later Killie had a great chance to equalise when Craik was brought down for a penalty by Lyndon Tas – but the young goalie redeemed himself by saving the spot-kick.

Armour pulled off a fantastic save in the 70th minute as Hearts looked sure to double their lead, but the goalkeeper was on call to tip an effort on to the post.

Two minutes later Killie were level as Smith worked into the area before firing a powerful effort into the corner.

Craik had a free header and looked sure to fire Killie in front in the 78th minute, but Tas saved well from point-blank range.

Then in the dying minutes Stevenson fired home from distance to secure the win for the capital side.