Stephen Kingsley ‘delighted’ after improvised goal fires Hearts into cup final

Kingsley played a one-two with Liam Boyce before curling the ball past Hibernian keeper Matt Macey.

By Press Association Published: 16 April 2022 - 3.58pm

Stephen Kingsley revealed he had never practised the set-piece goal which ultimately secured Hearts their 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Hibernian at Hampden Park.

The Jambos were leading through an Ellis Simms goal after 16 minutes and were awarded a free-kick about 30 yards from goal five minutes later.

It was too far out for Kingsley to strike directly at goal, so he played a one-two with Liam Boyce before curling the ball past Hibs keeper Matt Macey.

Chris Cadden immediately reduced the deficit and Hibs, despite having Joe Newell sent off in the 64th minute, pushed for the equaliser but Hearts held out to reach their third Scottish Cup final in four years, also ensuring they would play European football of some sort until Christmas next season.

Jambos boss Robbie Neilson claimed the set-piece was down to his backroom staff – Paul Gallagher, Gordon Forrest and Lee McCulloch – but Kingsley said: “I didn’t practise it once.

“It was meant to be on the left-hand side, on Barrie McKay’s side, for him.

“We had practised it during the week for him.

“It was something we felt quite confident with but when it was on the right-hand side – and it was too far out for my preferred distance – we had a word with each other and got Boycey in and set it up on my side and thankfully it couldn’t have worked out any better.

“Before today the St Mirren free-kick was probably the best this season but where this was and who it was against, it was a massive moment in the game.

“It was disappointing to lose that goal so quick afterwards but it ended up being the goal that takes us through to the final. I am absolutely delighted.”

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