Hearts headed into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup on the back of a late goal from Don Cowie to end HIbs run of derby wins reaching double figures. With the game seemingly heading for a draw, Christophe Berra headed a corner back across goal and Cowie got a touch which the Hibs defence could not keep out. For the second time in a row, the sides looked set to share a goalless draw despite the home side enjoying the best of the play at Tynecastle. It was not a classic, but both had gilt-edged chances to win the game before Cowie's late strike secured a first win for the Jambos over their rivals since 2014.
Despite heavy snow prior to kick-off, the hosts were keen to get the ball down and play and debutant Steven Naismith nearly made a stunning start to his Tynecastle career inside the opening four minutes. The Scotland international was cutely played through by David Milinkovic and skipped past Ofir Marciano but his off-balance effort bobbled just wide. The game settled down from there, with neither able to gain any fluency in attack with tackles flying in and the Tynecastle surface doing neither any favours. After a 20-minute lull which saw plenty of action in the middle of the park but little in either area, Martin Boyle had a golden chance to break the deadlock. Oli Shaw swung a low ball in from the right which evaded Vykintas Slivka and found an unmarked Boyle at the far post, but the forward got his feet horribly wrong and missed a simple chance from inside the six-yard box. As the game became more and more scrappy, Milinkovic was again responsible for a rare moment of quality with a ball over the top for Isma Goncalves, but the striker was forced wide before firing straight at the keeper as the two went into the break level.
Hearts came out on fire in the second half, with the impressive Demetri Mitchell a constant threat on debut down the left. The wing-back sliced wide after a well-worked free-kick, before Marciano produced a brilliant save low down after his volley from a Goncalves cross looked certain to hit the net. A tactical change from Neil Lennon slowed the Hearts onslaught a little, but there was little going forward from the men in green. Boyle volleyed a rare chance straight at Jon McLaughlin from a free-kick before the winning moment came with less than five minutes to go. Berra's header was poked in by Cowie, sparking wild celebrations and confusion as both sides waited for the goal to be awarded. Things heated up as Boyle was involved in an angry confrontation with Hearts manager Craig Levein in the closing moments, but it was Hearts who claimed a deserved win.
Images from the game can be seen on SportPix