First Team

Partick Thistle 1-1 Heart of Midlothian

Monday 4th March 2019, KO 19:05 | William Hill Scottish Cup | Firhill

Match Report

Hearts and Partick Thistle will have to do it all over again next week after the hosts’ second-half sucker punch took this William Hill Scottish Cup QF tie to a replay.

The Jambos led through Christophe Berra’s early header and were in complete control, until Christie Elliott leveled against the run of play from close range.

Craig Levein made three changes from the side that was narrowly beaten by Celtic last week. Steven MacLean replaced the injured Steven Naismith, Ollie Bozanic came in for Olly Lee while Ben Garuccio slotted in for Jamie Brandon.

Hearts attacked from the off, with Bozanic feeding Garuccio down the left for the Aussie full back to float a ball into the middle for Christophe Berra but he nodded a few yards wide of the target.

The Jambos’ domination paid off after only 12 minutes. Bozanic glided a corner to the edge of the box for Garuccio to volley into the middle, and Berra was there to leap highest and loop a header over Conor Hazard and into the back of the net.

Hearts continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and were camped out in the Partick Thistle have for the majority of the half. Uche Ikpeazu showed quick feet just after the half hour mark to get away from his man inside the box and blast an effort on target but Hazard got two firm hands behind it.

Ikpeazu was in the thick of it again just before half time, running the ball into the box before exchanging a one-two with Bozanic then playing keepy-uppy over his own shoulder and striking at goal, only to see his shot flash wide of the target.

It should’ve been 2-0 moments later. Djoum took advantage of some slack home defending to drive into the box before squaring to Sean Clare, who had time to take a touch but then blasted well over the bar.

Thistle looked a more dangerous side the second, even though Hearts continued to enjoy most of the ball. Just before the hour mark, Aidan Fitzpatrick got to the edge of the Hearts box and unleashed a piledriver that flew narrowly over Bobby Zlamal’s crossbar.

Ikpeazu was a constant thorn in Thistle’s side, and showed strength and skill to turn his man and go flying down the right on 67 minutes before cutting inside and finding Djoum on the edge of the box, he created space for himself before slamming a shot over the bar.

The woodwork then came to Thistle rescue twice in a matter of seconds. Clare tore into the box before firing goalward at and angle only to see the ball hit Hazard’s left-hand post, and it spun up in the air for Ikpeazu to head but although the ball flew over Hazard, it landed on top of the bar and went over.

Against the run of play, Thistle equalised in the 72nd minute. Substitute Joe Cardle got down the left to whip a ball across the face of goal and Elliott was there to tap home from close range.

Hearts went in search of the winner, with Ikpeazu receiving the ball at the edge of the box and turning to shoot but he lifted his effort over the target, moments after he appeared to tripped inside the box by Gary Harkins but referee Bobby Madden waved play on.

That winning goal failed to materialize, though not through lack of effort, and the two sides will meet again on Tuesday, March 14th in the replay at Tynecastle, with the winner facing Inverness CT in the semi finals.

Partick Thistle: Hazard, Elliott, Penrice, Anderson, Spittal, Harkins, Slater, Fitzpatrick (Cardle, 69'), Mansell, McMillan (Storey, 74'), Saunders. Subs: Sneddon, McGinty, Doolan, McDonald.

Hearts: Zlamal, Souttar, Haring, Berra, Bozanic, Clare, Djoum, Garuccio, MacLean (Mulraney, 80'), Ikpeazu, Godinho. Subs: Doyle, Lee, Dikamona, Vanecek, Keena, Hickey.

Referee: Bobby Madden

Attendance: 5,171