The 'If they are good enough they are old enough' mantra appears to be working for Hearts as sixteen-year-old debutant Anthony McDonald set up both goals as the hosts beat Dundee 2-0 at Tynecastle. The midfielder threaded a ball through for Isma Goncalves to score on the half-hour mark and Christophe Berra made sure of Hearts' second home win in four days when he scored after McDonald's 77th-minute corner. Dundee had enjoyed long spells of possession in between but John McLaughlin saved several free-kicks from Scott Allan, and Roarie Deacon missed two decent chances. McDonald was one of two 16-year-olds in Hearts' midfield along with first-half substitute Harry Cochrane, while 19-year-old Lewis Moore also lined up beside them for most of the match. Four players including McDonald were brought into the team that beat Motherwell last time out, with game-winner Kyle Lafferty dropping to the bench and Jamie Walker missing out through a hamstring injury. Arnaud Djoum overcame a knock to start but only lasted 32 minutes before succumbing to another one following a hefty 50-50 challenge with Mark O'Hara.
Hearts had the better of the play before taking the lead. They had a penalty claim rejected by Craig Thomson after Prince Buaben's strike hit the arm of Josh Meekings. Cole Stockton then rolled a defender to make the most of Djoum's forward pass, but Elliott Parish saved his angled strike with his feet. McDonald had shown some smart touches before scooping a pass between two defenders for Goncalves, who slotted into the far corner. The visitors stepped things up but Deacon fluffed a decent chance to level. Moore came closer in first-half stoppage time after both he and Goncalves skipped past Dundee players, but the midfielder's shot was saved.
Deacon had another chance just after the break when he turned inside Rafal Grzelak but his left-footed effort trickled inches wide of the near post. Stockton soon had the ball in the net but was ruled offside after converting Connor Randall's low cross. Hearts were being forced deeper and Craig Levein brought on midfielder Ross Callachan for Goncalves in a bid to reclaim some control. The switch nearly paid added dividends when the substitute raced on to Stockton's through-ball, but he could not beat Parish. Dundee lost Deacon to injury after he was taken out by a challenge which earned Grzelak a yellow card and Hearts doubled their lead when Berra hooked home after McDonald's corner eventually made it all the way beyond the back post. Substitute Lafferty had a strike saved as Hearts finished the game on top and moved above Motherwell into fifth place.