Rangers advanced to the quarter-finals of the Scottish FA Youth Cup after a convincing away win at Hearts.
Despite going behind in the first-half, the away side led at the break thanks to goals from Liam Burt and Ryan Hardie.
Hardie then added two more goals to complete his hat-trick in the second half while Burt scored a sublime fifth in added time to increace the advantage and reduce Hearts’ second to a mere consolation.
The home side were eager for revenge following Rangers’ 2-1 victory over them in the SPFL Development League on Monday night and made the brighter start to the contest, eventually taking the lead in the 12th minute when defender Chris Hamilton rose at the back post to head in Andrew Irving’s clipped cross from the left side.
Rangers responded well, however, and were finding joy down the left side of the pitch. Liam Burt had a shot saved early on after cutting in from the wing with Hearts goalkeeper Kelby Mason doing well to keep hold of the strong shot. Zak Rudden’s strike from Rangers next attack proved a sterner test, however, and this time Mason could only parry the shot into Burt’s path with the winger calmly dispatching the ball into the net.
Hearts could have retaken the lead soon after thanks to some nice play down the right by Rory Currie and Callumn Morrison. A neat one-two allowed Morrison to get to the by-line before pulling back a cross to the penalty spot and had Irving’s shot been directed either side of Rangers stopper Robbie McCrorie then his side would have found themselves in front.
In the closing few minutes of the half Rangers were awarded a penalty. Midfielder Max Ashmore’s beautiful, diagonal pass just cleared the head of Hearts right back Yves Vladislav and found Burt on the left wing, Vladislav tried to make it back but instead bundled into the back of the attacker forcing him to crash to the ground. Hardie made the penalty look simple by stroking it low and into the net to give his side the lead.