Tuesday 5th March, 2019 at 12:05am
It was a chance to reach a major semi-final for the first time in 17 years as Hearts visited Maryhill in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarters tonight. The Jags came into the game in poor form but produced a spirited second half performance to take the Jambos to a Tynecastle replay, coming from behind. The away side took the lead after 11 minutes thanks to Christophe Berra’s header and dominated the opening half without adding to that advantage.
They had a number of chances to make it two through the likes of Sean Clare and Uche Ikpeazu but would be made to rue their missed opportunities when Christie Elliott knocked home a leveller with 19 left to play. The number two’s goal confirmed a cup rematch next Tuesday as Thistle travel to the capital. Jags boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to ptfc.co.uk following the final whistle:
“I think the draw was probably the fair result in the end. The biggest disappointment for us was that it took us more than half an hour to get started and find our footing in the game. However, I was very proud of the boys and the way they came out and played in the second half.
“They showed great determination and desire to stand up to Hearts’ physicality even though we didn’t get our foot on the ball enough, especially in the first 45. The team earned their goal and really earned the chance to have another go at Hearts next week.”
Although the gaffer admits that his side weren’t at their best in the first half, he was pleased with the way they battled and ensured that the score was only 1-0 going into the break.
“Hearts played well to start the game and got a quick goal which really boosted them. They were pushing for that second goal and I think we did pretty well to keep them at bay, albeit, we were maybe a bit more penned in than we’d have liked. The key was to keep ourselves in the game and we managed that.”
Gary picked out goalscorer, Christie Elliott, for individual praise with the defender playing in a more advanced role than he’s become accustomed to in recent years.
“That was one tactical difference we made for this game. We thought that focusing our play down the right would help us to exploit their weaknesses and I thought Christie worked very well in that role. He did brilliantly to get into the position he was in for the goal and it capped off a good all round performance by him.”
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