SCOTT ROBINSON admitted he was convinced Hearts were out of the Scottish Communities League Cup last night after watching Danny Grainger and John Sutton fail to score the team’s first two penalties of a tense shoot-out against Dundee United.
Hearts progressed to the semi-finals by winning 5-4 on penalties at Tannadice following a 1-1 draw at the end of extra-time. Robinson, who successfully converted his club’s sixth penalty, believed there was no way back after watching his team-mates miss the first two spot-kicks. He had even contemplated looking ahead to next year’s tournament.
Jamie MacDonald, however, then reacted brilliantly to push Gary Mackay-Steven’s attempt onto the crossbar and the Hearts goalkeeper then saved John Rankin’s penalty. In sudden death, the United defender Sean Dillon put his kick wide of the target to send the Jambos into the semi-finals.
“I thought that was us gone when Danny and Sutts missed. I thought ‘that’s us out the cup again’ and all we could do was look forward to next year and try and get a run again,” Robinson told the Evening News.
“When John Rankin hit the post in the last few minutes of extra-time, I was thinking it maybe could be our night. We were down to ten men, we’d seen extra-time out and when Rankin hit the post I thought someone was maybe watching over us. Then we missed the first two penalties and I really thought that was us out.
“Thankfully we bounced back. The dressing room was buzzing at the end and it was a great experience to go through after a really tough match.”
Hearts join Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Celtic and St Mirren in the semi-finals, the draw for which is due to be made next Thursday.