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<-Page <-Team Wed 27 Aug 2008 Hearts 0 Airdrie United 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Colin Duncan auth-> Eddie Smith
----- Kevin Alan McDonald
4 of 010 ----- LC H

Hearts 0-0 Airdrie United (Airdrie win 4-3 on pens)

Aug 28 2008 Colin Duncan Reports From Tynecastle

HEARTS joined Hibs on the cup scrapheap last night as 10-man Airdrie stunned Tynecastle and charged into the last 16.

Keeper Stephen Robertson was a real Diamond for the First Division side, who had Kevin McDonald sent off in extra time.

Robertson saved from Lee Wallace and David Obua as Kenny Black's battlers ran out winners on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes and Hearts went the way of capital rivals Hibs, who crashed toMorton 24 hours earlier.

SimonLynch, Marc Smyth, Matthew Hazley and Scott McLauglin were on target as Airdrie won the shoot-out 4-3.

Yet Hearts' full strength line-up was an indication of how seriously Csaba Laszlo was taking the cup.

The Hungarian boss made only two changes from the side that beat St Mirren on Saturday with Saulius Mikoliunas back from suspension to replace AndrewDriver in midfield and Eggert Jonsson, a surprise choice at right-back in place of youngster Jason Thomson.

The tie provided a nostalgic return to Tynecastle for Black, who spent five years as a player with the Jambos.

His team are without a win, or even a goal, in the league this season, but it has been a different story in knockout tournaments.

Airdrie have notched up victories over Dumbarton and East Fife in the Challenge Cup and an impressive away success at Ross County in the previous round of this competition.

They had a great chance in nine minutes when Stephen McKenna rose to meet Steven McDougal's corner but his header flew just over.

Hearts' first effort on target came in 20 minutes after an impressive and incisive exchange between Mikoliunas and Laryea Kingston.

The Ghanaian picked out Christos Karapidis lurking on the penalty spot although the Greek's volley failed to test Robertson.

Thirty seconds later referee Eddie Smith booked Joseph Cardle after the Airdrie winger went down theatrically under a Marius Zaliukas challenge.

Hearts had a penalty appeal turned down. Michael Stewart got a mouthful of turf for his troubles although Marc Smyth made plenty of contact with the ball.

The best chance of the opening period fell to Airdrie in 32 minutes when a dreadful Christophe Berra clearance barely cleared his own box.

Paul Di Giacomo crashed a drive that looked destined for the bottom corner until Marion Kello produced a stunning reflex save. Apart from Mikoliunas rampaging on the right Hearts were creating few problems for their First Division opponents, who went even closer to taking the lead just before the break.

But again there was only frustration for the livewire Di Giacomo, whose 25-yard effort crashed off the bar and bounced on the goal line before Zaliukas booted the ball to safety.

Despite facing lower-league opposition, Laszlo still stuck with his 4-5-1 formation.

Jamie Mole was deployed as the lone striker and with service into the Airdrie box increasingly rationed the SPL outfit were finding life a lot tougher than expected.

Rare forays into Airdrie territory were being dealt with competently by central defenders Robert Donnelly and David Nixon.

But the visitors had to be bailed out by keeper Robertson on the hour when he produced a fingertip stop to block a close range Mole effort after the young striker got the faintest of touches on a Kingston cross.

Airdrie kept pushing, McDonald going close with a drive from the edge of the box and Cardle blasting into the side netting after leaving Wallace for dead.

Hearts should have broken the deadlock in 72 minutes whenWallace picked out Mikoliunas at the back post. The Lithuanian had time to control the ball but screwed his shot wide from five yards.

Hearts looked to have a legitimate shout for a penalty in the final minute when Smyth tugged at Audrius Ksanavicius's shirt but the ref booked the substitute for diving instead.

Airdrie were forced to play out the final 13 minutes of extra time with 10 men after McDonald received his second yellow for lunging into Berra.

Christian Nade, Deividas Cesnauskis and Stewart all had chances to win it before Airdrie triumphed in the lottery of the shoot-out.

HEARTS - Kello, Karipidis, Zaliukas, Berra, Wallace, Mikoliunas (Cesnauskis 73), Stewart, Jonsson, Obua, Kingston (Ksanavicius 70), Mole (Nade 93). Subs not used: Palazuelos, MacDonald.

AIRDRIE UTD - Robertson, Smyth, Donnelly, Nixon, Hazley, McDougall (Smith 83), McKenna, McDonald, Cardle (Brown 80), Di Giacomo (Lynch 78), McLaughlin. Subs not used: Noble, Hollis.

Referee -ESmith.

Taken from the Daily Record

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