Entertainment at a premium in Hearts games, criminal defending from Hibs pair, non-league Scottish Cup heroes - the weekend's winners and losers

Craig Fowler brings you the Josh Taylor's of Lothian football this past weekend - and those who may as well have thrown in the towel.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 4:53 pm
Updated Monday, 28th October 2019, 4:55 pm


Sam Jones (Penicuik Athletic)

The central midfielder was the pick of the bunch as Penicuik put in an outstanding performance in their 3-0 thumping of Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup. Athletic's captain organised his team-mates throughout, was excellent with his use of the ball and nearly netted in the first half. More than a shock result, you really couldn't tell which team were the League Two side on Saturday as Penicuik played the pre-match favourites off the park.

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Joe Chalmers, right, equalises for Ross County at Easter Road. Picture: SNS

Craig Scott (Broxburn Athletic)

Over 1,000 spectators turned up to watch the Albyn Park side score their own Scottish Cup upset, dispatching League Two Cowdenbeath with ease as another East of Scotland side notched a 3-0 win over SPFL opponents. The crowd were also treated to an absolute stunner by Scott, who put his side in a commanding 2-0 lead with 18 minutes remaining. By winning the replay Broxburn took full advantage of a late equaliser in the original tie and should fancy themselves capable of getting to the fourth round - and a potential meeting with a Premiership club - after being drawn against Inverurie Locos at the next sage. If they get either Hearts or Hibs they should fancy themselves capable of going even further.

The Hearts defence

Craig Levein said earlier in the season that he needed to work on the Hearts defence after watching them concede twice in a 2-2 at home to Hamilton Accies. They then went out in their next match and did one better - losing 3-2 to Motherwell. It's taken a bit of time but it appears as if those hours on the training ground are beginning to pay dividend with the Tynecastle side conceding just two goals in their last four games, including consecutive away clean sheets. Considering the impact the injury crisis has had on the back-line and the midfielders tasked with protecting it, that is not to be sniffed at.

Daryl Horgan (Hibs)

The silver lining of sitting on the bench for a struggling team is that there's a greater likelihood that you're going to get the chance to play at some point. That was the case for Horgan on Saturday as he was originally listed among the substitutes for the visit of Ross County, but was called into action when his team-mates put in a performance flatter than the pristine Easter Road surface. The winger gave his side a much-needed boost, scoring the first and making them more of an attacking threat during his time on the park. Had he been playing for a team capable of defending a lead then he would've been vitally responsible for earning a much-needed win. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't.

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The Hearts attack

Over 40 minutes against ten men and Hearts rarely looked like scoring. Alarmingly, it wasn't even a surprise. While the defensively record has improved in recent games, the attack has gone downhill at the same time. They've now netted just twice in four fixtures and there haven't been too many missed chances across that time span where you could point to and say they definitely should be scoring more. Uche Ikpeazu should have done better with a one-on-one against Livi goalkeeper Matija Šarkić, but that was about it as far as clear-cut chances went from Saturday.

Glenn Whelan (Hearts)

Having ruled out Jake Mulraney and Aidy White in the week leading up to the game, Hearts also had to do without the services of their experienced central midfielder after he felt his hamstring tighten on Friday. The club aren't too concerned by the injury and expect him to return to action shortly. See you in February, Glenn!

Josh Vela and Stevie Mallan (Hibs)

It's the 92nd minute. Your team are leading by two goals to one. You are in desperate need of all three points to appease the fans, who have been on your back for most of the season. An opposing player gets a loose ball 25 yards from goal. He lines up a shot. Do you:

A) sprint towards the shooter, doing absolutely everything in your power to either block the shot or force him to pass?


B) jog in his direction and, when the time comes, half-heartedly turn your back to the ball from five yards away?

No prizes for guessing which option the aforementioned duo went for.

Linlithgow Rose

It was back down to earth with a bump for Linlithgow after last weekend's Scottish Cup triumph. Playing away to Camelon they were well defeated 5-1 by the team in second place in the East of Scotland League. It certainly gives new boss Brown Ferguson something to ponder as he seeks to bring Rose further up the table.