Maroon Memories: Hearts march on in Scottish Cup

Lee Wallace, left, celebrates his debut goal

Lee Wallace, left, celebrates his debut goal

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Hearts defeated Kilmarnock for the second time in five days to seal a place in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.

It was the third game in a row between the two sides, with Killie having rescued a replay just more than a week before thanks to 18-year-old Steven Naismith’s late strike at Tynecastle.

The Jambos would go on to play Livingston in the last eight at their Gorgie home – a 2-1 victory setting up a semi-final clash with Celtic at Hampden, which they lost 2-1.

In total, this was the sixth meeting between Hearts and Kilmarnock in this season – with Saturday’s 3-0 league win for Jambos leaving Killie boss Jim Jefferies desperate for an improved performance.

The visitors made changes with Andy Webster coming in for Christophe Berra, while Lithuanian winger Devidas Cesnauskis debuted in place of Jamie McAllister.

Killie went into the game without injured duo Gary Locke and Colin Nish, with 21-year-old Kris Boyd and Naismith coming in.

The match was an explosive tie and Boyd set the tone early on with a scything tackle on Robbie Neilson after just six seconds.

That fired Hearts up though and they raced into a quick-fire two-goal lead. Lee Wallace, 17, opened his scoring account for the club from 12 yards after unlocking the Killie defence with his neat one-two.

And there was further disappointment for Jefferies as his team’s awful start to the game continued when striker Lee Miller’s header wrong-footed the keeper after 13 minutes.

Boyd almost pulled one back at the near post from a low cross by Naismith, but the young striker drilled the ball wide.

After the dramatic opening, clear-cut opportunities were at a premium through the remainder of the opening half.

Killie midfielder Peter Leven shot narrowly past an upright from 30 yards, while Boyd sent a header weakly wide after a good cross from Garry Hay.

Midfield star Paul Hartley made a good save shortly after the resumption of play to prevent Killie slipping 3-0 down after a well-struck shot from Cesnauskis.

But they could not prevent the Lithuanian from making it 3-0 when his countryman, Saulius Mikoliunas, threaded a pass found into space for him in the Killie area.

Hartley came close to making it 4-0 late on but shot just over with a curling attempt from the edge of the box.

Kilmarnock scored a consolation with the last kick of the game when Boyd scored from the penalty spot after Wallace had pulled down Allan Johnston.

Hearts: Gordon, Neilson, Wallace, Webster, Pressley, Hartley, Simmons, Cesnauskis, Wyness, Miller, Mikoliunas.