Heart of Midlothian 2-1 Partick Thistle
Tuesday 12th March 2019, KO 19:45 | William Hill Scottish Cup | Tynecastle Park
Hearts booked their place in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi finals with a 2-1 win over Partick Thistle.
Played out in biblical conditions at Tynecastle, the visitors took the lead through Scott McDonald but were pegged back by Uche Ikpeazu, and Sean Clare’s spot kick sealed the Jambos’ trip to Hampden.
Craig Levein made three changes from the side that won at Dundee on Saturday. In came Olly Lee, Jake Mulraney and Craig Wighton with Peter Haring, Callumn Morrison and David Vanecek missing out.
Hearts tested the opposition goalkeeper only three minutes in, after Ikpeazu glided past three Thistle players before being bodychecked at the edge of the box. Ben Garuccio stepped up and swerved his free kick on target, but Conor Hazard flung himself to his left to push the ball behind.
With 17 minutes on the clock the visitors took the lead. A cross from the right wasn’t dealt with despite Bobby Zlamal saving from Steven Saunders’ header and McDonald was on hand to stab home from close range.
The Jambos then had to go in search of the equaliser. Clare drove forward through the middle of the park in the 22nd minute and got the ball back before pulling the trigger but Hazard made a comfortable diving save.
The equaliser came two minutes later. Ikpeazu was fed the ball inside the box and he held off his man to create space for himself before turning and slamming a low shot into Hazard’s bottom right corner.
The Jambos were then handed the opportunity to take the lead from the spot on 35 minutes when indecision in the Thistle defence allowed Mulraney to steal the ball inside the box, only to then get wiped out by Hazard. Clare stepped up and made no mistake, slotting his penalty into the bottom right corner and sending Hazard the wrong way.
Hearts were denied a stonewall penalty eight minutes into the restart. Ikpeazu turned Steven Anderson inside the box and the Thistle swiped his legs, but referee Bobby Madden waved away the protests.
Clare went close to extending Hearts’ lead when he got on the end of a cross but his header landed inches wide of the target.
A penalty was given with twenty minutes remaining when Ikpeazu was bundled over inside the box. The big man dusted himself down to take the spot kick but it was tame and Hazard made a comfortable save.
Hearts were dominant and went close again when substitute Haring slipped Wighton through on goal but the forward blasted over the target.
Madden waved away a couple of soft Thistle penalty shouts in the closing stages as Hearts as held on to book their place in the semi finals, where they will face Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Hearts: Zlamal, Souttar, Berra, Lee (Haring, 65'), Clare, Djoum, Wighton, Garuccio, Ikpeazu, Mulraney (Morrison, 83'), Godinho. Subs: Doyle, Bozanic, MacLean, Dikamona, Keena.
Partick Thistle: Hazard, Elliott (Cardle, 50'), Penrice, Anderson, Spittal (Fitzpatrick, 76'), Bannigan, McDonald, Slater, Mansell (Storey, 67'), McMillan, Saunders. Subs: Sneddon, McGinty, Doolan, Harkins.
Referee: Bobby Madden