Hearts and Raith Rovers played out a scrappy 1-1 draw in today’s Scottish Cup fourth-round match at Stark’s Park.
Jamie Walker had given the Jambos the lead but Declan McManus’ last-minute equaliser means they’ll have to do it all over again on Wednesday at Tynecastle.
Ian Cathro handed debuts to all four of his January signings. Lenard Sowah, Aaron Hughes and Andraz Struna made up the defence alongside John Souttar, while Malaury Martin slotted in behind frontman Bjorn Johnsen.
Hearts started on the front foot but it was Raith who had the best chance of the opening ten minutes. Ross Callachan dropped a delightful ball into the six-yard box but before Mark Stewart could get to it, Souttar popped up with a fantastic block.
Nine minutes later the Jambos had an opportunity of their own. Martin’s corner from the right was met by Perry Kitchen, but he could only force his header wide of the target.
An incisive breakaway in the 37th minute saw Hearts take the lead. Don Cowie latched on to a misplaced pass and carried the ball into the box before slipping through Walker, who had time to take a touch before slotting low beyond Kevin Cuthbert in the Raith goal.
Martin started the second-half with a spectacular effort, curling the ball inches over the crossbar from an angle, after Struna touched it back to him at the edge of the box.
The home side should’ve been level in the 57th minute. Kevin McHattie skipped past Souttar to sweep the ball across the face of goal for the unmarked Stewart to connect, but incredibly, he could only hit the crossbar from five-yards out and the chance was gone.
What followed were a few minutes of constant Raith pressure. Hamilton did well to get a good hand to a Callachan effort to push the ball wide, then moments later the ‘keeper beat away a half-volley from Iain Davidson.
The game became scrappy and was on a knife-edge heading into the final ten minutes. Raith substitute Declan McManus turned his man on the edge of the box but could only drag his shot well wide of the target.
With one minute of regulation time on the clock, disaster struck. Substitute Rudi Skacel hit a sweet half-volley into the goalmouth and McManus popped up to nod the ball beyond Hamilton and into the back of the net.
Raith Rovers: Cuthbert, McHattie, Callachan, M'Voto, Benedictus, Johnston (Hardie, 69'), Stewart (McManus, 81'), B.Barr, Matthews, Davidson, Thompson (Skacel, 81'). Subs: Brennan, Thomson, Roberts, C.Barr.
Hearts: Hamilton, Struna, Hughes, Souttar, Sowah, Nowak, Kitchen, Cowie, Martin, Walker (Zanatta, 86'), Johnsen (Sammon, 89'). Subs: Noring, L.Smith, Godinho, Beith, Currie.
Referee: John Beaton
Top Man: Aaron Hughes