Hearts 5-0 Airdrie: Three things learned from Scottish Cup tie

Jambos ease into next round with comfortable victory

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 5:06 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th January 2020, 5:14 pm
Andy Irving celebrates after scoring Hearts' first goal against Airdrie

Euan Henderson's impact

The teenager scored his first senior Hearts goal to give his team a 4-0 advantage and it was a strike which capped a fine afternoon. Henderson started off wide on the left flank but really flourished after the break having been shunted into the centre-forward position. He immediately looked more confident playing with his back to goal and turning to run at the Airdrie defence with the ball. His goal was a straightforward tap-in from Steven Naismith's teasing cross but it was a reward well deserved for the 19-year-old. Expect him to feature more in the coming weeks.

Ever-improving Sean Clare

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There is no doubt Clare is Hearts' most improved player under Stendel. So much so that he now looks like a natural right-back and is expected to stay there for the foreseeable future. A midfielder to trade, he has adapted to defence seamlessly and gets forward down the right flank to good effect. That was shown early in the second half when he lurked on the edge of the Airdrie penalty area and was rewarded with a goal. Sean Crighton's clearing header fell perfectly for Clare to dispatch a first-time volley which soared high into the net past goalkeeper David Hutton.

More injuries

The downside for Hearts was that three more of their players wound up injured by the end of this encounter. Uche Ikpeazu pulled up during the warm up and could not take his place among the substitutes. Steven MacLean stepped in at short notice but that was not the end of the Tynecastle side's ailments. By the point of half-time against Airdrie, both Aaron Hickey and Michael Smith had been forced off with knocks. They were replaced by Ben Garuccio and Oliver Bozanic respectively as Hearts, yet again, were left to lament what seems like an injury curse.