Robbie Neilson beats Hearts Scottish Cup challenge as hero Craig Gordon earns ‘normative’ quiz

21 Apr 2022 | 08:35 | Football

Robbie Neilson challenged Heart Hampden heroes to ensure a “great” season by getting their hands on the Scottish Cup.

Jambos clinched two derby wins in a seven-day span with a 2-1 win over their 10-man opponents after Joe Newell was sent off in the second half of their semi-final.

Hearts were leading at the time through Ellis Simms and a magical Stephen Kingsley strike before Chris Cadden pulled back a goal in a frenetic first six minutes.

No more goals after restart but Hibs was the better player even after Newell was sacked for second goal with yellow jersey Craig Gordon After a brilliant save to deny goalkeeper Ryan Porteous.

Hearts have clinched third place in the Scottish Premiership and this win secures football in next season’s European group stage when they go into Europa League play off round where, even if they lose, they will be relegated to the Conference League group.

And Neilson told the BBC: “We talked before the game about how this is a good season, today turned it into a really good season, so now we can go to Hampden and turn it around. it turned into a great season?

“It was a tough, tough game and credit goes to the Hearts players but also credits to the Hibs players because I think they fought really well and put us under a lot of pressure, more again with 10 men and that was a real nail in the end.

“I’m so glad I got through it and I can go home and rest now!

“We did a great job to get the second goal and then after a five-minute period we made a little mistake and let them in and it gave them a chance.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – APRIL 16: Hearts manager Robbie Neilson during the Scottish Cup Semi-Final match between Hearts and Hibs at Hampden Park, on April 16, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

“But for the players, they gave it a go there and deserved to go through.”

Hearts suffered a double injury with Andy Halliday came off in the first half and Craig Halkett was stretched out in the second.

And Neilson shrugged when asked about Gordon’s great stop, saying: “It’s bog standard for Craig – I hope he catches it!

“He has been excellent this year but so have the rest of the players.”

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