Date: 27th August 2008 at 6:19am
Written by:

Hearts face the proverbial ‘banana skin’ cup tie tonight when they take on Airdrie United in the CIS trophy (the League Cup to traditionalists!) at Tynecastle.

When the draw was recently made for tonight’s match, we wrote an article about the many less-than-happy memories that matches against Airdrie (the ‘old’ Airdrie that is – ‘The Diamonds’) tend to conjure up in the minds of Hearts supporters. If ever there was a team to be firmly classed in the ‘bogey’ category back in the early-to-mid ’90s for Hearts, it was most certainly Airdrie, who knocked us out of the Scottish Cup no fewer than three times during that period. Hearts almost always struggled to get any sort of result out of this fixture, and even on those occasions where they did manage to win, it tended to be a bitterly tough, ground out affair – untidy 1-0s rather than comfortable 3-0s!

Of course, it’s a vastly different Airdrie that Hearts will be taking on at Tynecastle tonight to the one whose ghost sends a shiver down the spine, but the spectre of Alex MacDonald’s old side would appear to be living on, as United’s manager is none other than former Hearts player Kenny Black, who was a stalwart of those Airdrie sides of the ’90s. Black was as hard as they came as a player – a solid ‘pocket battleship’-like build with the aggression to match, so there’s every chance that the side who runs out against Hearts tonight will have many similar qualities to those that their manager used to play in for MacDonald. If this turns out to be the case, then Hearts are in for a battle…….

‘Shock’ results tend to be more rife in this tournament than in the Scottish Cup, possibly because many of the fixtures involving clubs from different leagues take place in the early stages of the season, when players are still finding their feet, so to speak. Tonight is one such fixture, and although Hearts have started the season reasonably well, their lack of cutting edge up front could well see them struggling tonight, particularly if they can’t grab an early goal to settle them down. Airdrie will know this and their tactic is likely to be stifling the game for as long as possible to force the crowd to get on the home side’s backs, something which sadly doesn’t take very long at Tynecastle these days!

Hibs were taken to extra-time by Morton at Easter Road last night and eventually ended up losing 4-3, so the warning signs are there for Hearts if they need them. It could be a LONG night……….!


14 Replies to “Will The Ghost Of Airdrie Haunt Hearts Again?”

  • Football is a funny old game… Seriously. Last week the hibees were laughing their little socks off at all Hearts fans and now… Well they appear to have disappeared again. Last week my work colleagues who support hibs took great pleasure in emailing me all day long about Miko and the Gers result, along with various mentions of Hearts being behind their boys from that week until the end of the season… So first off they were wrong about the positions thing, it may be that the next couple of weeks se it change again. However, here is my point about the story, whenever Hearts draw Airdrie I acutally begin to worry so what Morton pulled off may not be far from my mind. Of course as most Hibs fans would say this is of course the Diddy cup, that would be until they remember they won it not so long ago. Onwards and upwards, let’s hope Airdrie play the part.

  • Seem to remember Airdrie being a bit of a bogey team for Hibs as well back then…I’m sure they knocked them out of the cup the same year as one of our semi-final defeats to them….

  • So does anyone still rate our chances. 120 minutes against Airdrie, they go down to 10 men for a while and we still can’t score. How can any hearts fan be optimistic for the forthcoming season!?! The club is a disgrace. 1 man up front against Airdrie at home! What a joke!

  • …and in our previous two home games, we scored five goals. No question we need more / better firepower, but remind me how many goals did our “strikers” score in 2005/06 when we finished 2nd in the SPL and won the Scottish Cup? Not many. Most of our goals came from midfield. That was obviously Csaba’s hope for tonight, and it didn’t happen on the night. C’est la vie… it’s only the diddy cup after all.

  • i still don’t see where the goals will come from. We scored 3 against a poor well team and scrapped 2 against a terrible St Mirren team, 1 a penalty and we missed a second penalty. I really don’t see goals being scored against a decent team. This weekend we have another relatively easy task in many peoples minds. Against Rangers we were by all accounts really poor. I understand we have 5 goals but where will they come from in future games, I mean Airdrie? Come on…Top six if we are lucky. Maybe Tullberg will come in and do something he hasn’t done elsewhere… Score goals. Tonight starting with 1 recognised striker at home to a first division club was a ridiculous idea in my opinion. Still time will tell.

  • Hearts are a joke Airdrie Utd ha ha twos up Romanov the jambos will be looking for a new manager before xmas your looney owner and son would be better of running a brothel at least somebody would score girfuy

  • Dalien, sure pal, I’m not saying I don’t agree with you that playing 1 up front tonight was a mistake – I do. But the bottom line is we simply don’t *have* the strikers at the moment, no matter how much we might want them. So I can understand the logic in putting on attacking midfielders like Kingston, Stewart and Obua as support. I think we created a lot of chances – we just couldn’t score a goal. Not our night. From what I’ve seen of Hearts this year compared to last (acknowledged key personel aside) we’re a much stronger outfit that is only getting better. I’m looking forward to seeing them in the flesh on Saturday. Yes, we’re *****e. But we were *****e before, and we’re not suddenly going to become world beaters in a few weeks with the same personel bar the manager. It will take time… fortunately, the league is a marathon not a sprint, and we’ve done OK so far.

  • Yeah I’d refrain from the sort of knee-jerk rubbish you see on many of the message board – this epitomises the fickle football fan. We all know we have problems, but we knew them before that result and if anyone didn’t acknowledge that simply because we beat Motherwell, well, that’s their problem.

Your Comment