A derby shoot-out could go on . . and on

Jambos celebrate their shoot-out win against Queen of the South. Pictures: JANE BARLOW
Jambos celebrate their shoot-out win against Queen of the South. Pictures: JANE BARLOW
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If tonight’s clash goes to penalties, both sides will be perfectly entitled to fancy their chances.

Hibs, of course, have never lost a shoot-out in domestic competition, while Hearts are fast emerging as the League Cup’s penalty kings.

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 25th September 2013. Football :: Heart of Midlothian versus Queen of the South, at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh, in the 3rd Round of the Scottish League Cup. Pictured is Hearts Scott Robinson celebrating.

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 25th September 2013. Football :: Heart of Midlothian versus Queen of the South, at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh, in the 3rd Round of the Scottish League Cup. Pictured is Hearts Scott Robinson celebrating.

Incredibly, each of the Tynecastle side’s last four victories in the tournament have come via penalty shoot-outs.

After seeing off Dundee United and Inverness with kicks from 12 yards on their way to last year’s final, the Gorgie side have started this season’s renewal with back-to-back victories on penalties against Championship pair Raith Rovers and Queen of the South.

Most of the current team, despite their relative youthfulness, have experienced the tension of a penalty shoot-out, while some have also tasted spot-kick success at Easter Road, where they eliminated Caley Thistle in last season’s semi-final.

Hibs, by contrast, have not faced a shoot-out for more than two years, since Colin Calderwood’s side beat Motherwell 7-6 on spot-kicks after a 2-2 draw at Fir Park in a League Cup tie in September 2011. Paul Hanlon was the only player involved that night who remains at Easter Road.

In the event that tonight’s clash goes to spot-kicks, both sides can take heart from the fact their respective goalkeepers, Ben Williams and Jamie MacDonald, have proved themselves adept at saving penalties.