ELLIOTT PLEASED FOR HEARTS FANS
Hearts striker Stephen Elliott revelled in reaching his cup final but he admitted his feeling could not match the joy on the supporters' faces.
Elliott had been substituted and was able to take in the moment when Craig Beattie converted his injury-time penalty to seal a 2-1 win over Celtic before embarking on a memorable celebration by throwing off his shirt and running along the Hampden track in front of the Hearts fans.
The 28-year-old striker has played in the English top flight and for the Republic of Ireland but has never played in a cup final in his senior career.
But Hearts fans are looking forward to an Edinburgh derby final against Hibernian for the first time in living memory - the last time was in 1896 - and Elliott was even more thrilled for them than himself.
"For me it's fantastic," said Elliott, who began his career at Manchester City before playing for Sunderland, Wolves and Preston.
"I've played down in England most of my career and never really been that far in the cup competitions.
"But when you see the fans out there, it means so much to them.
"With a derby final, you couldn't ask for a much better occasion. Hopefully on the day we come out on top."
The prospect of a capital derby final, which will take place at Hampden on May 19, had been set up by Hibernian's 2-1 win over Aberdeen on Saturday, 24 hours before Hearts faced Celtic, but Elliott tried to put that out of his mind.
"You see the result but you can't really look too far ahead," Elliott said.
"You have to concentrate on your own game, because playing the champions it's going to be a really difficult task.
"You have to ride your luck at times because you know they have got good players and they are going to get chances. But we have dug in there and got a final spot."
Elliott was isolated in the first half as a lone striker but the half-time introduction of Beattie instantly changed the game.
The former Celtic striker set up Rudi Skacel's goal within 90 seconds of the restart and his running allowed Hearts to take the game to their opponents as he joined Elliott up front.
Elliott did have one chance in the first half though after latching on to Kelvin Wilson's short backpass, but Fraser Forster narrowed the angle and blocked.
"It came to me quickly," Elliott said.
"I tried to slide it underneath him but to be fair to him he came out quickly.
"In the first half we found it quite difficult, they had a lot of the ball.
"They had the chance where he headed it on to the post. We rode our luck at times and it's just amazing to get to the final the way we did, with a last-minute penalty.
"The manager changed it at half-time and we got a little more luck.
"The plan was to get the ball in behind their defenders in the second half and once we got the ball up a bit quicker we caused them a few more problems and created a few more chances.
"Beatts has been struggling with an injury and he has managed to come on and play really well for the 45 minutes and put the penalty in."
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