Hibernian 1-0 Hearts by Peter Martin
This was a throwback to the days when you struggled to get a ticket for a derby match. Easter road packed to the rafters and a cup-tie that had everything and nothing in equal measure.
Hibs deserved their win and it should have been more comfortable. Hearts played as poor as I’ve seen them this season and their style of football beggared belief at times.
The opening goal was all about the craft of John McGinn and, eventually, the delivery of David Gray to carve out a wonderful chance for Jason Cummings to give the home side the lead.
The Hibees went wild and I thought we were in for a cracking cup-tie with goals galore and entertainment in abundance. We were fooled. What we got was Hibs trying to play football and Hearts lumping it up the park in a style Graham Taylor would have been proud of in his Watford days.
It is no surprise Gordon Strachan is on the verge of calling John McGinn into the Scotland set up. He has bags of energy, a good work ethic and seems to glide past defenders with ease.
McGinn, however, wasn’t the star of the show, that award goes to Hibernian’s back line for dealing with the predictable aerial bombardment from a Hearts side crying out for someone to put their foot on the ball and play it on the deck.
Jason Cummings scored one, missed a sitter and picked up a booking all in the first half of this derby. Many neutral observers checked their watches to see the yellow shown for celebrating in front of the Hearts fans in the fourth minute and thought, long way to go, he’ll be sent off. And so it came to pass some 74 minutes later.
I like John Beaton as a referee, but sadly, as he gets older and the delegates start to bust his head, he’s turning into an over-officious robot.
He sent Cummings off for apparently kicking the ball away, but only after pressure from a Hearts player. He failed to send Pallardo off for a blatant second bookable offence. I thought he bottled it and the Hearts player should’ve walked. He then sent Augustyn off for a petulant throw of the ball, which for me was harsh.
Thankfully, it wasn’t all about the ref. Hibs showed, yet again, they are a Championship side that could easily hold their own a league above.
Last week, I put out a tweet after 40 minutes of the first cup-tie, ‘Game over 2-0 Hearts, the wait goes on for Hibs.’ At the end of that game, I took pelters from every Hibs fan worth their salt, and rightly so.
Even Jimmy Boco gave me abuse! That is rippin the a**e out of it.
Hearts should have finished it last week, but they blew it and paid the ultimate penalty.
This week’s tweet was posted with 30 seconds left of the five additional minutes of injury time added at the end of the ninety. I didn’t want to take any chances!
‘One-nil to the Hibs, game over! No way back for Hearts. #Scottishcup.’
It didn’t quite have the same impact as last week’s error of judgement.
Still, that’s football. Well done Hibs, I’m now tipping you to win it!