Hearts gain revenge for Cup exit in 8 goal thriller.

Tuesday 24th April 2012.

Kingdom Caledonian League.

Cupar Hearts made the journey to Strathmiglo looking to hit back after their cup exit at the hands of United several days earlier. It was a more determined Hearts side with Captain Charles Anderson returning to take his place in the back four and a much improved performance.

Hearts wasted no time in getting procedures under way and opened the scoring on 8 minutes. A free kick by Gary Reilly was spilled by ‘keeper Jamie Gibson and Barry Sibanda was on hand to fire home from close range. Gary Reilly should have doubled Cupar’s lead moments later when his shot went inches over after a good one two with Iain Boylan. On 15 minutes a mistake by Stephen Gilfillan let in Grant Skinnner but his shot was wide. The home side pulled one back soon after when Darren Baillie headed a corner kick back across goal and William McLaughlin nodded the ball in. Cupar regained their lead 10 minutes later when a low cross by Barry Sibanda was neatly side footed into the back of the net by Iain Boylan. This was short lived though as straight from the restart Hearts failed to clear their lines and Mark Hampton’s fierce shot nutmegged the ‘keeper to level the scores. Strathmiglo were unlucky not to edge in front after a scramble in the box but Shaun Leishman’s effort came back off the post. It was the away side that grabbed a goal before the break with only 3 minutes remaining. A Stephen Gilfillan free kick was cleared out only as far as Stuart Nicoll and his excellent ball was headed in by Gary Reilly. Hearts weren’t finished yet as right on half time they scored goal number four. Barry Sibanda did all the hard work to set up Gary Reilly and he blasted the ball home.

Cupar Hearts were doing all the pressing in the opening stages of the second half. Iain O’Leary’s shot went wide and Scott McInroy’s effort was just off target. Cupar increased their lead on 64 minutes with a great individual goal by Barry Sibanda. He shrugged off three players before bursting the net leaving the ‘keeper with no chance. Then a scramble in the box at the other end resulted in Scott McInroy fouling Stuart Luke and the referee pointed to the spot. Darren Baillie stepped up for the home side but fired his penalty kick high over. Tommy Halley did excellently to make an important block on the 70 minute mark when a poor clearance by Steven McEwan left Strath’s William McLaughlin with an open goal. Liam Ivory should have scored for the home side when he did well to get through on goal but his effort came back off the upright and Iain O’Leary cleared. Cupar Hearts took their foot off the gas in the remaining minutes and allowed Strathmiglo a goal back. Darren Baillie slotted the ball home just before the final whistle to conclude the scoring.

Hearts: McEwan, Anderson (c), Gilfillan, McInroy, Halley, Nicoll, Fraser, O’Leary, Reilly, Boylan and Sibanda. Subs: Reilly, Beveridge, Simpson, Honeyman and McLean.