CRAIG Levein has done everything at Hearts except win a trophy. Is this his year at long last?

Inverness Caledonian Thistle of the Championship, managed by Gorgie icon John Robertson, now stand in the way of Hearts reaching their first Scottish Cup final since 2012, the year they last won the trophy.

Levein has been a player, captain, manager, director of football and manager for a second time. He’s never won a trophy, never led Hearts to a final as the boss. He will never get a better chance.

“Getting to a final would be superb for me, given my long, long association with the club,” admitted Levein “I don’t see it as a job; I see it as a labour of love. I’m just delighted to be representing the club in this position – both positions.

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“It means more to me than anything that this club should be successful I’ll be doing my best to make that happen.

“The semi-final is a huge thing for us. Getting there is good – but the final is the thing, to be there and won’t he Cup. It’s a great opportunity, without being disrespectful to Inverness, a team from a lower league.

“We’re the favourites. We will be up against Robbo, his team will be superbly well organised and will have a go. It’s been a rocky road, the last four or five years, but they’ve been hugely significant in the history.”

Gary Caldwell, the Partick Thistle, manager spoke with referee Bobby Madden who turned down two good shouts for a penalty to the Firhill men in the last minutes of this tie.

Firstly, Hearts defender John Souttar had his hand on Joe Cardle who went down. It looked a penalty in real time. It wasn’t. Then Miles Storey of Thistle looked to referee Madden after he hit the floor following a challenge by Christophe Berra. Again, nothing was given. That was a stonewaller.

Caldwell said: “I did speak to the ref calmly. He said the first one was no way a penalty, I’ve looked at it back - and he was right.

“The second one he saw contact but couldn’t be sure. I’ve looked it back and it’s a penalty. So it’s disappointing but that’s football. Refs have a hard job to do.

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“I’m just really proud of the team. They’ve stood toe-to toe with one of the best teams in the country.

“We’ve given away two soft goals. But they’ve shown bravery and composure on the ball, stood up to Hearts’ physicality. But I couldn’t fault them, really.

“I think we’ve been a different team since January. We will improve. The squad should e really proud how they’ve played these two games.”

That we had a decent game in truly terrible conditions was great credit to both teams and while Thistle lost, they played well and if they can keep up there level of performance then they might get themselves out a relegation right they really should not be involved in.

They at least took the lead and gave a loud travelling support a reason, not that they needed it, to jump up and down.

With 17 minutes gone, Craig Slater crossed from the right, Steven Saunders got his head to the ball at the back post, it went loose, and from two yards out, Scott McDonald just about scored. He nearly missed!

Hearts were level within seven minutes.

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The goal was all about big Uche Ikpeazu, who had an eventful night. The Hearts striker had his back to goal outside the box, he used his strength to bounce a couple of defenders off him before turning and drilling the ball into the bottom corner.

Thistle then gifted Hearts the lead.

Goalkeeper Conor Hazard was waiting for Saunders to knock a bouncing ball back to him, Saunders was looking for his goalie to clear, Hearts’ Jake Mulraney got between the ditherers and Hazard brought down the winger.

It was a penalty and Sean Clare confidently sent Hazard the wrong way.

Ikpeazu won a penalty when he got past Blair Spittal who brought him down. He wasn’t going to allow Clare a second go but his effort from 12 yards was weak and Hazard had an easy penalty save if there is such a thing. Luckily for Ikpeazu, who is a good player, it didn’t matter in the end.

Levein revealed: "Uche had an agreement with Austin McCann that if he won a penalty he'd get to take it. That agreement has been ripped up now!

"Unless the other 10 players get injured, I would doubt he’ll take another.

"We don’t want him to be the most important player. We want him to be a cog in the wheel. We need to pass the ball for him to be at his best. We did that better."