As The Chant Went: There'll be No Hibees In May

Last updated : 02 April 2006 By Ed_ScottishFitba

Hibs 0 Hearts 4

Packed Hearts fans

On the way to Hampden you would have thought that Hibs fans would have outnumbered their Hearts rivals as for every maroon laden bus there were nine bedecked in green and white. However, once in the ground as the teams lined up at 12:15 there were huge spaces at the Hibs end while it was hard to spot a spare set in the Hearts end. Was this a case of both sets of fans knowing who were going to win? Or were the Hibs fans taking on more Dutch courage for what ended up a nightmare game for them?

Man of the match Paul Hartley settled the most anticipated Edinburgh derby for years to send Hearts into the Scottish Cup final against second division Gretna. The former Hibs midfield player contributed a superb hat-trick to kill off an under-strength Hibs team which ended up with nine men. Edgaras Jankauskas was also on the scoresheet on a day Hibs fans will want to forget. Ivan Sproule was sent off for with 13 minutes left after stamping on the back of Hearts substitute Saulius Mikoliunas and Gary Smith followed him three minutes from time for denying Michal Pospisil a goalscoring opportunity.

To be flown at half-mast
Hibs had their problems before kick-off with Michael Stewart, Scott Brown and Chris Killen all failing fitness tests, forcing Tony Mowbray to hand a debut recent signing Abdessalam Benjelloun. It left Hibs light up front and Hearts took control early on, and Zibi Malkowski had to get down quickly to save from Jankauskas. Hibs' first threat came when Craig Gordon had to palm a stinging Steven Whittaker shot over his crossbar. Whittaker, playing in a more advanced role, had several attempts from distance in the first half but most were wayward. Gary Caldwell missed a great chance when he headed a Kevin Thomson free-kick high and wide and then Thomson set up Ivan Sproule, but he could get no power in his effort and Gordon saved comfortably. Hearts took the lead after 27 minutes when Benjelloun lost possession in midfield and Rudi Skacel fed Hartley who slid the ball wide to Jankauskas, who returned the compliment for Hartley to beat Malkowski with a deft touch.

Show them the way to go home
Jambos skipper Steven Pressley suffered a head knock at the end of the first half and remained in the dressing-room at half-time, with Takis Fyssas replacing him. Malkowski produced the save of the match to turn a deflected free-kick from Hartley past his post as Hearts went for the killer second. It came predictably from the boot of Hartley when he caught Malkowski napping at his near post and he curled in a free-kick. Hibs tried to respond and Gordon saved well from Whittaker, but their hopes were gone with Sproule's red card and Jankauskas rubbed salt into the wound with a third goal after a mistake by Malkowski. The Hibs goalie tried to beat the tall Hearts forward at football on the edge of the box and there was only one winner as Jankauskas rounded him to roll the ball into the empty net. Smith followed Sproule up the tunnel after pulling back Pospisil in the penalty area and Hartley drilled home the resultant penalty to complete his hat-trick. A day to remember for Hartley and one to forget for Hibs.

Hibs: Malkowski, Whittaker, Gary Smith, Caldwell, Murphy, Sproule, Hogg, Thomson, Glass (Konte 62), Fletcher (McCluskey 82), Benjelloun (Konde 70)
Subs Not Used: Simon Brown, Shields

Sent Off: Sproule (78), Gary Smith (88)
Booked: Hogg, Thomson

Hearts: Gordon, Neilson, Pressley (Fyssas 45), Webster, Goncalves (Mikoliunas 69), Cesnauskis, Aguiar, Hartley, Skacel, Elliot (Pospisil 82), Jankauskas.
Subs Not Used: Banks, Camazzola

Booked: Elliot, Gordon, Aguiar, Hartley
Goals: Hartley 28, 59, Jankauskas 81, Hartley 88 pen

Att: 43,180

Ref: S Dougal

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