David Martindale outlines mitigating circumstances as Livingston's Scottish Cup hopes hit skids at Hearts

Beaten Scottish Cup finalists last season, Livingston manager David Martindale said there were contributing factors, not excuses, for his side’s inability to make the quarter-final stage of the same competition this season.

But, although his men still ran Hearts close, forcing a penalty shoot-out, he gave credit to Hearts for getting the job done,

“It’s a sore one. I feel sorry for the players but I don’t buy into the idea that penalties are a lottery. It’s about ability and mentality and Craig Gordon is an imposing figure in the opposition goal.

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“I thought over the piece, Max [Stryjek] had a save from a glancing header. We had two outstanding chances in the first half and then [Scott] Pitman hit the inside of the post and it fell back into Craig Gordon’s arms.

Livingston manager David Martindale explained some of the factors behind his side's defeat to Hearts. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

“I wasn’t convinced the ‘goal’ we scored was offside - I might be wrong, I’ve not seen it back. But we created the better chances albeit Hearts dominated possession.”

And the Livingston gaffer added that the preparation had been far from ideal.

“I’m not making excuses but we left Ross County at 10pm on Wednesday and it was a five-hour bus journey. We got stuck in traffic, there was four inches of snow, there was a lorry jack-knifed on the motorway and we were stuck in that queue for an hour and a half. Then the boys are getting in their houses at 4 or 5 am and we were back in training that day for massages, recovery and ice baths.

“But the boys still did more than enough to nick it in 90 minutes.”

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