Date: 9th November 2009 at 7:08pm
Written by:

Hearts have been drawn to face St Mirren in the semi-final of the CIS Cup, after the draw was made at Tynecastle this afternoon.

Having been drawn against Rangers twice in recent years at this stage in the competition, we were half expecting the same thing to happen again today, but instead it will be Gus MacPherson’s Saints who stand between Hearts and their first League Cup final since that absolute cracker against Rangers at Parkhead in 1996.

The draw, which sees Rangers taking on St Johnstone in the other match, may bring back harsh memories for Hearts fans of the last time they faced The Buddies in a major semi-final. That was way back in 1987 when they lost 2-1 at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup, the year that Saints eventually won the trophy thanks to Ian Ferguson’s famous strike against Jim McLean’s Dundee United. I was there that day and still have nightmares about that little basa McGarvey’s late winner!

The venue for the tie, which will be played on either Feb 2 or 3, has not yet been confirmed, but St Mirren manager MacPherson is clearly against staging it at Easter Road as some people are suggesting may happen. He said:

‘That would be an absolute ridiculous decision if that was the venue.

‘It will be for other people to decide, but most people at St Mirren would be against it if Easter Road was put forward.

‘The players would love to play at their national stadium.

‘I have experienced it as a Kilmarnock player when we played St Mirren and, although it wasn’t the biggest crowd, I still think, if you asked any player, they would much rather have the opportunity to play at Hampden.’

I don’t agree with MacPherson at all on this and even though I’m not and never have been a player (football player that is ;o)), I can’t see how the prospect of playing in front of 15,000 at Hampden would be better than a full house at somewhere like Easter Road or Fir Park. Take the point that they are not the national stadium, but surely a cup tie thrives when there’s a really good atmosphere in a stadium, rather than the ghost-like surroundings of Hampden. In fact, even when Hampden is close to full it can be like that!

We’ll see what happens. Easter Road is perhaps not very fair given its in the same city as St Mirren’s opponents that night, but I would much prefer somewhere other than Hampden as the venue for this tie.

As for us avoiding Rangers at this stage in the competition, I wonder if this was done in an effort to maximise that their chances of getting to the final….let’s face it, they’re as bad as us!


2 Replies to “Hearts Avoid Rangers In CIS Cup Semis”

  • Well let’s face it, we’re more than capable of losing to ANY of the 3 others the way we’re playing juyst now. St Mirren seem to have been blowing hot and cold, although we’ll probably face them when they’re hot !! It will be a another test of Csaba’s ability to motivate his team for the big occasion.

  • February eh. Maybe we’ll have a striker by then. Or maybe not. Either way, who cares… it’s not a competition worth winning. To be honest, I think they’ll play it at Fir Park… would make the most sense IMO.

Your Comment