Hearts’ route to the William Hill Scottish Cup final

Hearts face Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup final on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport looks back at their route to the final.

Hearts 1 Livingston 0 (Fourth Round)
Hearts edged a tight contest thanks to a well-worked goal from Sean Clare early in the second half. Clare curled home from 18 yards after a deft lay-off from debutant David Vanecek. First-team coach Jon Daly said: “It was a fantastic move. I spoke to David at half-time about getting hold of the ball and giving us a platform to build from,  I thought he was loose in the first half. Sean in the first half was slack and Foxy (coach Liam Fox) had a little pop at him. It’s great that you get a reaction from them.”

Hearts 4 Auchinleck Talbot 0 (Fifth Round)
The Ayrshire Junior outfit earned a trip to Tynecastle with a shock derby win over Ayr but Christophe Berra headed home inside 10 minutes to settle the hosts’ nerves. Demi Mitchell and Steven MacLean netted before Aidan Keena notched his first Hearts goal. Manager Craig Levein said: “It was a bit of a no-win situation for us, but I was pleased with our first-half performance.”

Hearts 2 Partick Thistle 1 (Quarter-Final Replay)
Hearts were held to a 1-1 draw in Maryhill after failing to build on Berra’s early goal, and they were given another tough test in the replay. Scott McDonald put the visitors ahead from close range in the 17th minute but Uche Ikpeazu worked space to net seven minutes later. The second half was all about penalties – Clare scored one, Ikpeazu missed one and Thistle were denied two strong appeals in stoppage time. Levein said: “Once we settled down and scored a couple, I thought we were dominating – until that last five or 10 minutes.”

Hearts 3 Inverness 0 (Semi-Final)
Hearts overcame a team managed by John Robertson, their record goalscorer and former manager, after a polished second-half showing. Ikpeazu and John Souttar scored following corners before Clare netted from the spot. “We’ve had a roller coaster season but I’m so proud of the players, how they dealt with the pressure,” Levein said.

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