Hearts pair ready to face Celtic in semi-final battle

Hearts striker Craig Beattie
Hearts striker Craig Beattie
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CRAIG BEATTIE and Andy Webster are both expected to be fit for Hearts’ William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic this weekend.

The Tynecastle management team opted to leave the two players out of Saturday’s final pre-split league fixture at East End Park, which Hearts won 2-1 courtesy of goals from Gary Glen and Darren Barr.

Beattie and Webster both have what first-team coach Gary Locke described as “little niggles” but they are not deemed serious enough to threaten their participation in Sunday’s semi-final at Hampden Park.

Beattie’s heel complaint was the cause of his absence whilst Webster has a minor thigh problem. They were left out as a precautionary measure against Dunfermline. “I think they should be okay,” said Locke when asked if the players would be available to face Celtic.

“They had a couple of little niggles and we just felt it was best not to risk them. I don’t think there’s anything too serious with the two players. Hopefully they will be back on the training ground tomorrow or Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, Ryan McGowan has been named Hearts’ Young Player of the Year for season 2011/12 after a series of consistent displays in defence.

The Australian beat fellow nominees David Templeton, Gordon Smith, Scott Robinson and Gary Glen to the award at a ceremony hosted by the Hearts Youth Development Committee at Tynecastle on Saturday night.

Fraser Mullen, who made a first-team breakthrough against Auchinleck Talbot in the William Hill Scottish Cup in January, was named Under-19 Player of the Year. Sam Nicholson took the award of Under-17 Player of the Year.

To mark his sterling work with the youth players at Riccarton, Hearts Under-19 coach Darren Murray received the George Nicholson Recognition Award.