Hibee History: 40 fans arrested at Scottish Cup derby battle

This tie was far from subtle and will be remembered as much for the off-field crowd trouble.

Saturday, 10th March 2018, 5:28 am
Hearts' Walter Kidd, left, challenges for the ball with Tony Higgins

More than 40 fans were arrested and at least one policeman was knocked to the ground and had to be helped from the terracing. Several young spectators at the front of the crowd were struck by missiles.

As play continued after Hibs had scored their second goal, police had to move into the terracing where Hearts fans were congregated. Fierce fighting had broken out and a hail of missiles, including cans, coins and even golf balls were thrown.

Last season, Hearts were fined £1000 by the SFA for misbehaviour by their fans and that same element seems intent on crucifying a club which already has enough problems to contend with.

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George Stewart (No. 5) celebrates with team-mates after opening the scoring

The behaviour by certain players was not much better than that of their fighting fans. Their very actions on the field were enough to incite trouble elsewhere. Anything resembling a football match was entirely coincidental as the Capital rivals found themselves in a bitter, bruising battle.

Hibs manager Eddie Turnbull was honest enough to admit: “It was a tough, tough match ... blood and thunder stuff.

“There is no way you can play football in that kind of situation; if you attempt it you can get run over. Our job was to win a place in the semi-finals and we did so, deservedly.”

Midfield man Des Bremner was voted man of the match but it was young Gordon Rae who provided the one highlight of the day when he scored Hibs’ second goal.

George Stewart (No. 5) celebrates with team-mates after opening the scoring

Jackie McNamara played a high ball into the penalty area, Bobby Hutchison headed it down and Rae controlled the ball, beat his man, and sent a tremendous drive into the net. It was a goal fit to win the Cup itself and certainly one which was far too good for this particular match.

In an effort to combat Hibs’ strength, Hearts packed the midfield and Willie Ormond’s plan worked for 23 minutes. They ran out of luck then when Drew Busby had to be taken off because of a leg knock and was replaced by Graham Shaw.

Hibs dominated the midfield from that point on and, after surviving a bad miss, they took the lead. The miss came when Hearts striker Derek O’Connor survived two rather doubtful tackles inside the penalty area but then lost the ball to Jim McArthur.

The opening goal came eight minutes from the interval when Ralph Callachan sent a free-kick to the far post and George Stewart rose, unchallenged, to head the ball in off a post. The Hearts defence looked badly at fault, especially young goalkeeper John Brough.

Rae’s fine effort came in the second half and gave Hibs a two-goal advantage.

Hearts pulled a goal back when Malcolm Robertson, who had been subdued for most of the afternoon, broke clear on the left and when his cross came over, O’Connor headed high into the net but Hibs goalkeeper Jim McArthur will know he could have done better.

Hibs: McArthur, Brazil, Duncan, Bremner, Stewart, McNamara, Rae, MacLeod, Hutchison, Callachan, Higgins. Substitutes: Lambie, Campbell.

Hearts: Brough, Brown, Black, Liddell, Jefferies, Craig, Gibson, Kidd, O’Connor, Busby, Robertson. Substitutes: Shaw, McQuade.

Ref: Brian McGinley (Glasgow)

Att: 22,618