Hibs 0-1 Heart of Midlothian
Hearts recorded a famous derby win against city rivals Hibs to book their spot in the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup.
Ryan Stevenson blasted a first-half wonder goal to take the Jambos through at the expense of their neighbours.
Gary Locke made three changes to the side that lost to Kilmarnock four days previously. Dylan McGowan replaced Brad McKay, while Jason Holt and Callum Paterson came in for Callum Tapping and David Smith.
The game started at breakneck speed and it was the home side that almost broke the deadlock after only four minutes. A cross ball was punched away by Jamie MacDonald but only as far as Scott Robertson at the edge of the box, his ball back in was met by Paul Hanlon whose header crashed off the foot of the post and cleared following a brilliant block by Jamie Hamill.
Ten minutes later it was MacDonald to rescue as Robertson was threaded through and shot low from six yards, but the Hearts No. 1 got down expertly to beat the ball away.
Hearts had to weather the storm as Hibs continued to pile forward. On 17 minutes a wayward Holt header fell to Robertson at the edge of the box and his lashed shot was heading for the top corner until MacDonald pulled off a magnificent flying save to tip the ball up onto the bar.
James Collins was next to test MacDonald as he picked up the ball and drove a shot at goal from 18 yards, but the Maroons' goalkeeper continued to excel between the sticks as he dived to his right to save at the near post.
With Hibs having a firm control of the game in the opening stages it took the Jambos until the 28th minute to register a shot towards goal, but it had Ben Williams scrambling. Ryan Stevenson dispossessed his man 25 yards out and cut inside before unleashing a ferocious shot that unfortunately just curled round the wrong side of the post and behind.
What followed, however, was a moment of sheer magic. In the 34th minute Stevenson found himself with the ball at the edge of the box. With a quick look up, he pinged an absolute rasper of a shot from 25 yards beyond the despairing Williams and into the top corner to send the 3,800 travelling support into ecstasy.
Completely galvanised by taking the lead, Hearts continued to venture into their opponents' half. A looping ball into the home box was met at the edge of the six-yard area by Jamie Walker, but he couldn't steer his header on target.
The second half continued at the same lightning fast pace as the first. Hibs tried in vain to attack the Hearts goal but the Jambos stood firm with some resolute defending.
Just before the hour mark Stevenson danced past his man deep inside the Hibs half before feeding Holt at the edge of the box. His slide-rule pass found Walker but his first-time shot from ten yards was well wide of the target.
Hearts looked strong on the break at this point, and in the 62nd minute Kevin McHattie latched onto a loose ball at the edge of the box but his powerful shot was saved well by Williams at his left-hand post.
The home side gave a timely reminder of just how dangerous they were when Liam Craig sprung the offside trap on 73 minutes to set himself up one-on-one with MacDonald, though thankfully the Hearts 'keeper pulled off another wonder save from near point-blank range to keep the Gorgie boys in front.
Hibs shot themselves in foot when they were reduced to ten men with five minutes to go. James McPake lunged into a reckless two-footed tackle on Callum Paterson which left referee Willie Collum with no option than to show him a straight red card.
With that, Hearts held on to record another famous derby win at Easter Road and book their place in the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup for a second consecutive season.
Hibs: Williams, McGivern, Hanlon, McPake, Robertson, Vine, Craig, Collins (Caldwell, 63'), L. Stevenson, Taiwo (Zoubir, 75'), Thomson. Subs not used: Murdoch, Forster, Tudor-Jones.
Hearts: MacDonald; McGhee, McGowan, Wilson, McHattie; Holt, Hamill, Robinson (Tapping, 90'), Stevenson; Paterson, Walker. Subs not used: Ridgers, McKay, Carrick, Nicholson.
Referee: Willie Collum.
Top man: Ryan Stevenson.