Match Reports

Auchinleck Talbot 0-5 Heart of Midlothian

22nd January 2022

Quick Summary:

Heart of Midlothian booked passage to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup after putting five past Auchinleck Talbot at Beechwood.

Goals from Andy Halliday, Liam Boyce x2, Peter Haring and Alex Cochrane ensured the Jambos never really had to up a gear on a cold afternoon in East Ayrshire. 

How it happened:

Robbie Neilson made three changes to the Hearts team that disposed of St. Johnstone at Tynecastle on Tuesday night; Andy Halliday, Liam Boyce and debutant Nathaniel Atkinson all being handed Scottish Cup starts in East Ayrshire. 

It was a near picture perfect start to proceedings. Hearts were enjoying the lion's share of possession in the opening exchanges when Barrie McKay supplied one of his trademark passes to feed in Atkinson - the Aussie had a chance to take the shot, but squared it to an oncoming Liam Boyce who was deemed to be offside. Later replays showed the referee may have got it wrong. 

It was a sign of things to come, and few Jambos inside Beechwood were shocked to see McKay at the centre of things again as the Jam Tarts took the lead. A looping cross from the winger picked out a waiting Andy Halliday who was on hand to head the ball beyond Leishman in the Talbot goal - Hearts one to the good after fifteen minutes.

Hearts were in fine form, and could have had at least a few more were it not for a blend of missed chances and curious refereeing. A slew of handball shouts for Hearts followed, and when Peter Haring's header appeared to be punched away by a Talbot man with no repercussions - the men in maroon were facing the prospect of taking only a slim lead into the break.

Hearts' handball hoodoo was soon broken when the referee finally awarded one from a foul in the area just before half-time; Liam Boyce stepping up to cooly slot the ball home, marking his return to the starting eleven in style. 

The second half started exactly as the first ended; with Boyce notching once more to extend his tally for the season. The Northern Irishman nodding in a Halliday cross at the back post to make it three and easy for the JTs after 51 minutes. 

Comfortably in control at this point, Hearts were able to unfurl some nice, flowing football. It was an example of such fine football that handed Hearts the fourth goal; substitute McEneff danced his way into the area before threading the ball to Haring; with the big Austrian showing his usual coolness to blast the ball beyond Leishman.

The fourth went to the Austrian, but it was an Aussie who had a big hand in the fifth - skinning his man on the edge of the area before playing the ball across the face of goal to a waiting Cochrane. A simple finish, but the decisive fifth that finished Talbot off. 

All in all, a good afternoon for HMFC. Up next; the draw for the fifth round. 

The Hearts XI: Gordon, Smith, Halkett, Kingsley, Cochrane, Atkinson, Haring, Devlin, Halliday (McEneff, 68') McKay (Mackay-Steven 78'), Boyce (Ginnelly 82')

Subs not used: Stewart, Baningime, Pollock