Heart of Midlothian 5-0 Airdrieonians
Saturday 18th January 2020, KO 15:00 | Scottish Cup | Tynecastle
Hearts secured passage to the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a comfortable victory over Airdrieonians today at Tynecastle.
A strong second half showing from the Jambos saw four goals added to Andy Irving’s first-half opener resulting in a 5-0 win to secure Daniel Stendel’s maiden win with the Gorgie Boys.
The manager had made four changes to the starting line-up, with returns to the team for Conor Washington, Lewis Moore, John Souttar and new club captain Steven Naismith.
Hearts took the lead with their first effort on goal after seven minutes, when Irving played a short corner to Naismith who appeared to be felled in the area, but the ball broke back to Irving and he passed the ball into the far corner across the face of goal to open the scoring.
It should have been two for Hearts five minutes later, when a carbon copy of the first goal saw the ball break to Souttar but the vice-captain skewed his shot wide with the goal gaping.
The home side then suffered a double injury blow as the first half wore on, with both Aaron Hickey and Michael Smith succumbing to knocks and having to be replaced prior to the interval, before Hearts had a glorious chance to double the lead.
Washington beat the offside trap and beat goalkeeper David Hutton to the ball, being driven wide, but his cut-back to Naismith was blazed over the bar from 6 yards, although in fairness, the skipper was being forced backwards when he hit it.
Into the second half and Hearts started on the front foot. Euan Henderson hit the byline and squared it to Moore, who brought a superb save from Hutton. Naismith buried the rebound but he was deemed offside by the officials, but this only delayed in the inevitable.
Sub Ben Garuccio crossed the ball into the box, but it was headed clear only to Sean Clare who rocketed home a first-time volley into the top corner to double the lead. And four minutes later it was three, when Henderson tore through the Airdrie defence and squared for Naismith who made no mistake from close range.
Henderson then got the goal his hard work and endeavour deserved when he played a one-two with Naismith, with the skipper hitting the byline and firing it back across goal for the youngster who prodded home on the goal line to notch his first senior strike.
And it was five in stoppage time, when Irving swung a corner in from the right and the ball was met by Craig Halkett, whose powerful volley was too strongly struck for Hutton to hold, and the ball squirmed over the line to put some gloss on the result.
Hearts: Pereira, Smith (Bozanic, 41'), Souttar, Clare, Washington, Naismith (Walker, 77'), Halkett, Moore, Irving, Henderson, Hickey (Garuccio, 27'). Subs: Zlamal, ikpeazu, Damour, Dikamona.
Airdrieonians: Hutton, MacDonald (Wedderburn, 63'), Kerr, Crighton, Fordyce, C. Gallacher (Roy, 74'), McKay, Carrick (Thomson, 67'), Smith, Millar, McCann. Subs: S. Gallacher, Hawkshaw, Roberts, Payott.
Referee: Don Robertson