Sunday 12 February 2017, 12.30, Tynecastle Park
Scottish Cup Fifth Round Action between Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian.
The infamous fifth round draw that a clearly tired and emotional (as a newt) Rod Stewart was a part of paired the two Edinburgh rivals in the fifth round for the second year in a row. Scottish Premier League Hearts up against Scottish Championship side and current cup holders Hibs.
It’s the 34th meeting in the Scottish Cup between the sides, with Hearts three ahead on wins.
There have been some notable match ups over the years. Hibs won 5-1 in 1887 on their way to winning the trophy, while Hearts won the final against Hibs in 1896 in the only final ever played outside Glasgow.
Hearts won the cup in 1901 and Hibs won it the following year. Hearts won 5-0 in 1955, while Hibs won 4-3 three years later. Hearts won the only tie between the teams in the 60s, while Hibs won them both in the 70s. There were none in the 1980s and Hearts won the only one in the 90s.
More recent years have seen an unprecedented number of Scottish Cup match ups with six since 2006. Hearts won 4-0 in the semi-final of that year before going on to win the cup. Hearts won again in 2009 before winning the Scottish Cup Final against Hibs by five goals to one in 2012. Hibs knocked Hearts out the following season and last season Hibs triumphed in a replay before going on to lift the trophy for the first time since 1902.
In total, Hearts have won eight Scottish Cup to Hibs three.
Hearts had been starting to show signs of life after a poor run of results under manager Ian Cathro, with a 4-1 home win against Rangers and a 3-0 win at Motherwell in their previous two games. They sat in fourth spot in the league table. Arnaud Djoum was back in the Hearts squad after returning from winning the African Nations Cup with Cameroon.
Hibs were on a nine match unbeaten run, although would have been disappointed with a home draw to Ayr United in their previous game. They sat top of the Championship table.
We had originally been staying in Newcastle the night before, but the time of the game was moved to accommodate TV coverage, so we paid to change train tickets and came back the night before.
There was a great atmosphere in the ground as the match kicked off in front of 16,971.
Hibs won a corner straight from kick off which was cleared, then in typical derby fashion, the first foul of the game was committed inside the first minute, with McGinn fouling Martin as Hearts came forward.
Tziolis showed good composure in his own half in the third minute before Sowah played a one-two with Martin and sprinted up the left for Hearts. He played a low ball into the middle in the direction of Cowie, but Goncalves latched onto it and burst into the Hibs box. With defenders trying to get across, he struck his shot early and it hit Marciano before spinning up in the air and landing in the keeper’s hands.
In 10 minutes, Stevenson crossed from the left and Holt managed to win the header inside Hearts box, but it was well off target.
A ball from the left side again in 11 minutes, this time from Keatings, saw Holt nip in before Hamilton to get a toe to the ball, but Hughes had followed him and blocked.
A Hibs free kick taken by Keatings was flighted into the box in 13 minutes and Holt was there again, but this time he used a forearm in the face of the Hearts keeper.
Although he certainly wasn’t the only culprit in the fouling stakes, McGinn was fortunate not to go into the book for another late tackle on Tziolis in 20 minutes.
McGregor picked up the first booking of the day in 29 minutes for jumping into Cowie after the Hearts midfielder had played the ball forward. Cowie required lengthy treatment before continuing.
A long ball forward by Fyvie in 37 minutes was well taken by Cummings who ran to the right hand side of the box before attempting a chipped effort that landed straight in the hands of Hamilton in the Hearts goal.
Martin played a one-two with Goncalves in 37 minutes and struck for the Hibs goal from 25 yards, but he dragged his shot wide.
With a minute to half time, Tziolis was caught in possession on the half way line by Keatings and he burst into the Hearts half. He shot from long range, but the ball was blocked. Holt steamed in and was heavy with his touch, but three Hearts players left it for each other and Holt played the ball to Cummings on the right. Cummings curled a shot at goal that was parried by Hamilton and the ball hit Holt and spun towards goal, but Hamilton had plenty of time to dive on it.
A poor half and the goalkeepers had one save each, which shows where most of the game was being played. Both sides had spells of possession, but there was little in the way of chances.
A long kick out by Hamilton in 49 minutes caused problems for the Hibs defence and Johnsen beat McGregor in the air to nod the ball into the path of Goncalves, but Forster managed to force him wide and his ball across goal was cleared by Gray.
Goncalves picked up the ball just outside the box in 53 minutes. He went to play it to Struna on the right but McGinn got a foot in which spun the ball the other way and into the path of Johnsen. He hit on the half volley but Marciano managed to save with his foot. The rebound came to Walker, but McGregor deflected it wide.
Forster had to limp off for Hibs before the corner, but Fontaine was a ready-made replacement.
McGinn’s fouling caught up with him in 56 minutes when he took out Nicholson and was booked.
Hibs had a half chance in 57 minutes when Cummings turned away from Hughes to the corner of the box from a throw in from Fyvie and shot for goal, but it was covered by Hamilton and hit the side netting.
Up the other end, an almost identical effort from Hearts in 60 minutes, with Nicholson turning away from Bartley after a Struna throw-in. His effort from the corner of the box was hit with more power, but was high and wide.
Fyvie latched onto a loose ball on the right in 63 minutes and sprinted up the left wing. He got the break of the ball in a tackle with Avlontis and played the ball across for Cummings, but Struna was there to turn the ball behind for a Hibs corner which came to nothing.
In 70 minutes, Djoum picked up a loose Cummings pass midway in his own half and brought the ball forward for Hearts. He went past Bartley on half way and played a one-two with Goncalves which took him wide on the right. He beat Bartley again before crossing into the Hibs box looking for Johnsen, but Marciano was out to claim the ball low down.
A long ball forward by Keatings found Cummings on the left for Hibs in 77 minutes. He did well to hold the ball up with no support and with Hughes and Avlontis in close proximity, he played the ball across goal (which may have been a shot) and Holt slid in at the back post but couldn’t get there quickly enough and was unable to direct the ball on target.
As the clock ticked past the 90 minute mark Hearts’ Goncalves was lucky to only receive a yellow card when he let his frustrations get the better of him with a late tackle on Gray near the corner flag.
Not a good advert for Scottish football and probably the coldest I’ve been at Tynecastle. A day when defences were on top and the more entertaining players in both sides didn’t really get into the game. The Tynecastle pitch is in terrible condition at the moment which didn’t help, but it still should have been better from both teams.
Struna was best for Hearts while Bartley seemed to be the one to stop all Hearts attacks and stood out for Hibs. Neither keeper put a foot wrong, but they managed three saves between them.
1 Jack Hamilton, 27 Andraz Struna, 12 Tasos Avlonitis, 5 Aaron Hughes, 46 Lennard Sowah, 11 Sam Nicholson (Djoum 65), 15 Don Cowie (Nowak 79), 4 Alexandros Tziolis, 7 Jamie Walker, 88 Malauray Martin (Johnsen 45), 77 Isma Goncalves. Subs: 6 Perry Kitchen, 10 Arnaud Djoum, 13 Viktor Noring, 16 Choulay, 19 Krystian Nowak, 20 Bjorn Johnsen, 30 Rory Currie.
Hibernian: 1 Ofir Marciano, 2 David Gray, 24 Darren McGregor, 23 Jordan Forster (Fontaine 54), 16 Lewis Stevenson, 6 Marvin Bartley, 8 Fraser Fyvie, 7 John McGinn, 19 James Keatings, 35 Jason Cummings, 9 Grant Holt (Graham 79). Subs: 5 Liam Fontaine, 10 Dylan McGeouch, 17 Martin Boyle, 22 Andrew Shinnie, 27 Chris Humphrey, 29 Brian Graham, 31 Ross Laidlaw.
Referee: Willie Collum