Hearts extended their unbeaten runs in both domestic competition and the Edinburgh derby match to nine games when they beat Hibernian 3-0 in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup at Easter Road this afternoon thanks to Josh Ginnelly, Lawrence Shankland and Toby Sibbick goals.

Hibs started the encounter positively and went close to taking the lead on a couple of occasions; Hearts defender Michael Smith almost turned the ball into his own net after dispossessing Elie Youan and then Josh Campbell back heeled an Aiden McGeady pass onto the right post.

Then the defensive deficiencies which have proved so costly this season resurfaced; they failed to deal with a Robert Snodgrass free-kick into their area and Ginnelly pounced on a loose ball and rifled beyond goalkeeper David Marshall.  

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Hibs had the better of the game and created the superior scoring chances thereafter - McGeady, Chris Cadden, Campbell and Ryan Porteous all forced saves from Zander Clark as they pushed hard for an equaliser.  

However, Hearts came back off the ropes and hit their opponents with a sucker punch which Ken Buchanan, the former world lightweight champion boxer who took the match ball out onto the pitch before hostilities commenced, would have been proud of in his heyday.

Shankland cut inside from the left, played a neat one-two with substitute Stephen Humphreys and fired a powerful shot into the Hibs net to effectively seal the victory.

Shankland was sent off by referee Don Robertson for a second bookable offence in injury-time - but the Gorgie club piled on the misery at the death to the delight of their followers when Sibbick struck on the counter in the sixth minute of added-on time.

The jubilant Hearts fans chanted "there's only one Lee Johnson" after the third goal went in - and this loss puts the Hibs manager under considerable pressure. 

Here are five talking points from the match.


Hearts manager Robbie Neilson made his debut in the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road way back on May 13, 2001, when his side were held to a 0-0 draw. That result very much set the tone for his visits to Leith. He had never won at the ground either as a player or a coach before today.

The former Scotland centre half was unconcerned about his hoodoo finally, after nearly 22 years, coming to an end this afternoon. His charges progressing to the fifth round was all he was worried about and they duly did so. Still, this hard-fought triumph was sweet for him personally and then some.  


With Italian outfit Udinese and English clubs Blackburn Rovers and Watford all being linked with Ryan Porteous in recent days, this could have been the defender’s final appearance for Hibs. If that proves to be the case, he bowed out with a whimper not a bang.

Porteous has still, despite making his first team debut for his boyhood heroes five-and-a-half years ago and playing Hearts on numerous occasions since, never been on the winning side in a Edinburgh derby.

His actions proved costly for his side today. He gave away a free-kick just outside his penalty box with a pointless foul on Ginnelly, who was heading away from goal, when the score was 0-0.

Had he not been warned about how dangerous Snodgrass was at dead ball situations? The visitors took full advantage of the gift they were presented with.

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The 23-year-old showed when he made his Scotland debut in the important Nations League match against Ukraine in Poland back in September what a fine footballer he is. But it is fair to say he has still got to smooth off a few rough edges, not least a propensity to make rash challenges, in his play.

It is to be hoped that moving to a higher level either down south or abroad improves Porteous and helps him realise his potential.  


Johnson showed huge faith in James Jeggo, who had only joined from Belgian club Eupen on an 18 month deal yesterday, by handing the Australian internationalist a start.

The 13-times capped 30-year-old has played at a decent level in the past and helped Sturm Graz to lift the Austrian Cup back in 2018. Still, it was asking a lot of him to make his debut for Hibs in a derby match. Could his experience help the home team to record a longed for victory?

He picked up a booking for tripping Barrie McKay as he advanced towards goal. That aside, he contributed precious little. His distribution certainly left much to be desired. He has work to do to justify his signing.


The Hearts skipper took his tally for the 2022/23 campaign to 20 with his well-taken second-half strike. Can Scotland manager Steve Clarke ignore a player in such scintillating form up front?

He is well placed for forwards with Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes both at his disposal. However, if the four-times capped predator continues to bang them in with such regularity he could find himself involved in the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain at Hampden in March.  


The refusal by both Celtic and Rangers to give visiting supporters a full stand when the Glasgow clubs haved played at Parkhead or Ibrox in the past four years has had a detrimental impact on Old Firm games.

There was nothing wrong with the atmosphere when Hibs played Hearts at Easter Road this afternoon – fans of the Tynecastle club filled every seat in the South Stand and chanted, cheered and applauded from kick-off to the final whistle. It is how a derby should be.

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Something, though, really needs to be done about the continued use of pyrotechnics by supporters at Scottish games. The start of the match was delayed because smoke canisters were thrown onto the pitch by both sets of fans. There were more fireworks when Ginnelly broke the deadlock.

The worrying trend has to be stopped before somebody is badly hurt.