Liam Boyce believes Hearts’ convincing 5-0 demolition of Auchinleck Talbot represents a further sign that they are a team heading in the right direction.
The in-form Tynecastle side, who are third in the cinch Premiership, produced an authoritative display away to the West of Scotland League outfit on Saturday as they eased into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
It was in stark contrast to their last tie in the tournament, when they suffered one of the worst results in their history as they were defeated 2-1 by Highland League side Brora Rangers last March.
Boyce, who scored twice in the rout at Beechwood Park, told Hearts TV: “It’s always hard going to places like this, as we found last year when we went to Brora last year and got beat, but I thought we played really well.
“At the start, they played it long and then took a quick throw-in (that led to a chance) and that could have given them a lift and made us nervous but as soon as Craig Gordon got the ball for the goal kick, we started playing.
“We passed them off the pitch. No disrespect to them because they actually defended well but if they hadn’t been as strong defensively we could have scored even more.
“We controlled the game, we scored five goals and they didn’t really have any chances, so it was a good day at the office.”
It was a fourth win on the spin for Hearts, and a seventh in 10 matches. They will face Livingston at home in the fifth round next month.
Boyce said: “It wasn’t so much about banishing ghosts from Brora, it’s about getting a chance to win trophies.
“To get to finals, you have to go to places like this and win. It was also about keeping our momentum going. We’re playing good football and creating a lot of chances. It was a good performance.”
Boyce has been troubled by calf problems in recent months but he felt a lot sharper on Saturday in what was his first appearance since the 2-0 defeat by Rangers on December 12.
In addition to his two goals, the Northern Irishman had two efforts ruled out for offside which should have stood.
He said: “Personally, I felt good in terms of getting chances. My movement was quite good.
“I’m told my other two goals shouldn’t have been chalked off in the first half but it’s just good to be making those runs and feeling sharp and not having to worry about my calves. It’s great to feel good on the pitch again.”
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