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Hearts had won but I wasn't giving up the tie without a fight, says Airdrie boss

Airdrie boss Rhys McCabe admits their Scottish Cup clash against Hearts was over at half-time – but wasn’t giving up.

Goals from Lawrence Shankland, Kenneth Vargas and Calem Nieuwenhof had the Jambos home and dry midway through the first half, with Airdrie captain Adam Frizzell pulling a goal back in 34 minutes to give them hope.

However, Shankland added a fourth late in the game to put polish on Hearts’ win, as they progress to meet Morton at Cappielow in the quarter-finals.

McCabe said: “Hearts showed their professionalism, their level of maturity and managed the game really well, and ultimately picked us off.

“I said to the lads at half-time that we were out of the tie, but by no means am I going to accept a three or four-goal deficit – I’m going to try and get back into the game by all means necessary.

“I have no fault for the players, they gave me everything.

“I’m finishing the game with an 18-year-old and two 19-year-olds in midfield. There are loads of positives going about this club and it’s certainly not a negative.

“We’ve lost the game and we’re disappointed, but we’ve got to the last 16 of the Scottish Cup and got ourselves into the Challenge Cup final against The New Saints in a couple of weeks’ time.

“There are loads of positives so we won’t sit in and dwell on it too much.”

McCabe added: “I thought for large parts of the firsts half we were competitive.

“We started the game really well, with intent, and didn’t sit off the game as probably a lot of smaller clubs would do against a big club like Hearts.

“We tried to go after them, impose our style, and ultimately we gifted them four chances and three have been goals.

“That’s something that we can learn from, but that’s the level of opposition we were up