Hearts report and player ratings vs Airdrie: One 9 and 7's aplenty as Jambos romp into Scottish Cup last eight

Hearts were in North Lanarkshire to meet Championship opposition in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup

Hearts clinched a 4-1 win away from home against Airdrie in the Scottish Cup to book a quarter-final slot.

The Jambos learned pre-match that this clash and a trip to Morton would stand between them and another trip to Hampden Park. And they raced into assuring that part one of that mission would be secure.

Lawrence Shankland netted once again and Kenneth Vargas got in on the act six minutes later. Calem Niuewenhof's wonderful solo goal followed to cap off 21 wonderful minutes that left this tie with one inevitable conclusion. Shankland put the icing on the cake in the second half.

It's a convincing result and performance that makes it 10 wins out of 11 across all competitions for Steven Naismith's in-form side.

Two sides of Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium were filled with expectant away fans who had made the journey for the televised clash. They wouldn't have regretted swapping the couch for the chilly stands inside a blockbuster opening quarter.

First it was Shankland, again on the end of a sweeping maroon move. Jorge Grant played the critical pass to open the Diamonds up, teeing up Alex Cochrane, who put it on a plate for the talisman to finish.

Vargas' was more direct but every bit as effective. A long ball forward from Craig Halkett found the Costa Rican in between the Airdrie centre-backs, with his initial shot bouncing off goalkeeper Josh Rae, then rebounding off himself and into the net.

From the somewhat fortuitous to the sublime. Nieuwenhof danced his way in and out of several Airdrie legs looking to stop him by any means, but they could do zilch as he evaded them all and found the bottom corner.

A bystander's look at the scoreboard would suggest a Championship side who could not live with their top flight visitors. That doesn't paint the full picture though, as Airdrie had shown good moment of quality that have won them plaudits in their first season back in the second tier.

Craig Halkett's injury provided a bitter blow. The defender signalled to the bench he needed treatment and Naismith will hope it's not another bad injury for one of his backline stalwarts.

Adam Frizzell brought Airdrie back into things with a goal before the break but with how menacing Hearts looked with every attack, it seemed likely to be a consolation come full-time.

Tempo had faded a touch in the second half but the away side didn't have to go seeking the jugular. They could afford to hold possession, sit back and pick their moments to strike.

That they did with another Shankland goal. He was put behind the Airdrie defensive line, lobbing over Rae to put any miniscule doubt over this tie to bed.

With that, fans could fully look ahead at what's to come. Morton are next at Cappielow and while their win over Motherwell shows the danger that lurks for Hearts, the Jambos would fancy anybody at this moment in time with the way they are playing.

Here's how the Edinburgh Evening News rated the Hearts players who starred in Airdrie.

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