Hibs break derby curse in cup
Hibernian scored late on to finally break their Edinburgh derby hoodoo as they defeated city rivals Hearts 1-0 to knock the holders out of the Scottish Cup. The home side had started the fourth round tie against Hearts at Easter Road as favourites thanks to an excellent start to the season that sees them sit in second place in the Scottish Premier League.
However, despite their financial worries and inconsistent league form Hearts hadn't been beaten in the previous 12 derby matches - a run spanning three and a half years. Both sides had chances in an entertaining first half with Hibs keeper Ben Williams making good saves from Calum Paterson and a deflected Marius Zaliuskas header.
The frantic pace fell away in the second half and the game looked to be heading for a replay until David Wotherspoon's 83rd minute strike took a wicked deflection off Hearts captain Zaliuskas to seal a famous win and gain some revenge for their 5-1 Scottish Cup final defeat to Hearts in May.
Hibs manager Pat Fenlon was delighted with the win. "It's been a difficult couple of seasons for the club so we will enjoy today. It wasnt a great game but in cup football you take what is going," Fenlon said.
Hearts manager John McGlynn felt his side deserved a replay. "I don't think we deserved to lose the game that's for sure. I thought we had the better of the first half and their goalkeeper had a couple of good saves," he said.
Hibernian named an unchanged side for the fifth game running while Hearts made two changes from their defeat to Celtic with Mehdi Taouil in for Jason Holt and Arvydas Novikovas replacing Dylan McGowan.
In a pulsating start both sides had chances to claim an early lead. Hearts may be struggling for form in the league but they came within a whisker of going ahead in the second minute when Williams made a great save to deny Paterson's bullet header from Novikovas' accurate cross.
Hibernian then seized the initiative with Tawio slicing a shot high and wide after Wotherspoon had used his chest to lay the ball off to him in the box before Leigh Griffiths fired in a free-kick from the right that Jamie MacDonald saw late and had to punch clear. Williams then produced another fine save after Zaliukas' header from a corner was diverted towards goal off the chest of Hibs defender Paul Hanlon.
Hibs had an early chance in the second half but neither Wotherspoon or Eoin Doyle could get on the end of Griffiths excellent delivery from a free-kick. The Easter Road side began to look more dangerous going forward and again Doyle was the culprit as he couldn't connect with Wotherspoon's superb cross into the box.
Hibs finally broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute through Wootherspoon. The Hibs midfielder collected a cross field pass from substitute Ivan Sproule and stepped away from Kevin McHattie before firing in a shot that took a wicked deflection off Zaliukas and flew into the net past the helpless MacDonald.
In the day's other game, fallen Glasgow giants Rangers progressed to the fifth round with a 3-0 win over fellow Third Division side Elgin City at Ibrox.
Dean Shiels fired the Gers into a first-half lead and Kevin Kyle's 68th minute header from a Barrie McKay corner doubled their advantage.
Kai Naismith rounded off the scoring in the 85th minute after coming on as a substitute with a low finish past John Gibson.