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Saturday, 29 January, 2000, 18:14 GMT
McSwegan spares Hearts' blushes

McSwegan: Double strike to save Hearts

Hearts 3-2 Stenhousemuir

Gary McSwegan scored two minutes from the end as Hearts came back from 2-0 down against their second division Scottish Cup opponents.

The Scotland striker had already equalised half an hour from the end following Colin Cameron's controversial penalty for the home side eight minutes before half-time.

Ross Hamilton and Martin Mooney gave the Cup minnows their shock lead with strikes in the eighth and 29th minutes.

The first came when Hearts' Gary Wales played a short back-pass that allowed 18-year-old striker Hamilton to nip in and flight the ball over Antti Niemi.

Mooney almost made it two three minutes later when Gordan Petric's attempted headed clearance fell to him on the edge of the box.

Stenhousemuir keeper Lindsay Hamilton then denied Robert Tomaschek an equaliser with a brilliant one-handed save in the 14th minute before Cameron prodded inches wide nine minutes later.

But the visitors were always dangerous on the break and further embarrassed the Premier League outfit by extending the lead just before the half-hour mark.

Jimmy Fisher popped in a ball from the left that bounced awkwardly for Gary Murray, and Mooney outjumped the defender to head over Niemi.

Comeback begins

Hearts pulled the first back in controversial circumstances as Fisher was adjudged to have handled following Darren Jackson's run from the halfway line.

Cameron made no mistake with a right foot shot from the spot that sent keeper Hamilton the wrong way.

Two minutes before the break the visiting keeper made a point-blank stop from Wales to keep his side ahead at half-time.

And Fisher might have made it 3-1 with a 25-yarder after the break that was dipping just under the bar before Niemi tipped over at full stretch.

In the 61st minute the home side levelled when Gary Naysmith passed forward to substitute McSwegan.

The forward went past one challenge before rifling an angled shot from 14 yards inside Hamilton's right-hand post.

When Wales smashed the upright from six yards out in the 84th minute it looked likely that a replay was on the cards.

But the brave lower division team were heartbroken when McSwegan blasted home the winner with a left-foot shot from 12 yards.


Hearts: Niemi, Pressley, Naysmith, Locke, Fulton, Cameron, Jackson, Murray, Petric, Tomaschek, Wales. Subs: McSwegan, Simpson, Juanjo.

Stenhousemuir: L. Hamilton, Lawrence, Banks, Watson, Graham, Armstrong, R. Hamilton, McKinnon, Mooney, Fraser, Fisher. Subs: Lorimer, Wood, Forrester.

Referee: Bobby Orr (Scotland)

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