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TYNECASTLE STALEMATE 

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HEARTS and Hibs will have to meet again at Easter Road a week on Wednesday to settle their Scottish Cup fifth round encounter.

The Edinburgh rivals slugged out a fairly drab goalless draw at Tynecastle this afternoon where the thrills were few and far between.

Esmael Goncalves had the chance to give the home side an early lead when he burst through the Hibs rearguard.

However, Israeli keeper Ofir Marciano brilliantly blocked his first effort and snatched the rebound before the Portuguese attacker could follow up.

The best Neil Lennon’s men could offer by way of a reply came near the end of the first-half when Jambos No.1 Jack Hamilton parried an angled drive from dangerman Jason Cummings.

But it was Marciano to the rescue again for the Cup holders seven minutes after the turnaround when he managed to knock away an effort from substitute Bjorn Johnsen, who had come on for French midfielder Malaury Martin.

The ball fell to Jamie Walker who drilled in a first-time effort, but Darren McGregor threw himself bravely in the path of the shot and it rebounded to safety.

Thirteen minutes from the end, there was an opportunity for the visitors to claim a place in the quarter-final when Cummings sent over an inviting cross from the left.

Grant Holt arrived at the back post, but could only blast an attempt into the sidenet.

Hibs might take this afternoon’s stalemate as a good omen. They drew with their city foes at the same venue last season before winning the replay at Easter Road.

Eventually, they won through to a Scottish Cup Final meeting with Rangers and the rest, as they say, is history.

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