Hearts debrief: Stephen Kingsley standing out, lack of reliable attacking-mids, coin toss confusion

A look back at the Scottish Cup fifth round tie at Tynecastle as Hearts defeated Livingston on penalties to advance.

Player of the match

There weren’t too many stand-outs for this category. The back three all had decent games. Toby Sibbick was very impressive for the first hour but looked a little shaky in possession as the game wore on. John Souttar made a couple of vital interventions, including deflecting the shot which hit the post, while his stepping out from the back helped Hearts dominate the extra-time period. But let’s go for Stephen Kingsley. Not only was he pretty flawless at the back, he drove forward often to assist the attack and put a number of threatening deliveries into the penalty area.

Defining moment

Scott Pittman goes close for Livingston as his effort is deflected beyond Hearts keeper Craig Gordon and hits the post. Picture: SNS

Cristian Montano’s penalty miss is the easy answer. It gave everyone in Tynecastle belief that Hearts were going to survive the shootout and heaped pressure on Ayo Obileye to keep his side in the tie. But aforementioned Scott Pittman deflected shot off the post also deserves a mention. The ball seemed to move in slow motion as it left Gordon flat-footed and travelled toward goal. Thankfully for the hosts it struck the inside of the woodwork before falling back into Gordon’s arms.

Ref watch

Nick Walsh didn’t make many friends inside the ground. His generous interpretation of what constituted a foul played into Livingston’s hands. Speaking of which, the hosts had a couple of strong shoots for penalties dismissed after the ball appeared to strike the arm of an away player. One in particular had Nathaniel Atkinson incensed.

Benefit of hindsight

There’s not really much to second guess here. Andy Halliday playing as part of the front three was the only real surprise from the starting XI. He didn’t have a particularly great game but no worse than any of Aaron McEneff, Gary Mackay-Steven, Ben Woodburn or Josh Ginnelly have played in the position recently. There’s not much to be critical of the subs, either. They mostly improved the product on the park.

Moment you may have missed

There was some confusion with the coin toss for penalty kicks. There were two tosses: one for which end; the other for who went first. Livingston ultimately won both, but Gordon initially thought he was able to pick the Gorgie Road end.

Message from the editor

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