The fourth round never really promised much by way of drama but nobody told Spartans that… Jim Duffy’s Greenock Morton went down 2-1 to them after they forgot to heed the warning that came with Spartans’ beating Clyde in the previous round. It had started so well as Andy Barrowman had put them ahead and then only for Willie Bremner to equalise and then Jack Beesley put the home side through; just to make it a better weekend for Duffy, Stefan McCluskey got sent off for a second yellow card.
The one game that I had identified as a potential banana skin was far from it as Queen of the South swept past the Highland League’s Brora Rangers 4-1. Derek Lyle, Gavin Reilly, Lewis Kidd and Iain Russell netted for the Doonhamers whilst Andrew Greig got Brora’s goal. Dundee did manage to surprise a few by beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the early kick off on Saturday. Thomas Konrad managed to score twice, once for Dundee and then into his own net for the Dons before David Clarkson got the goal that got the Blues through. Alloa Athletic went out to another 2-1 score line at home to Hibernian. Daryl Meggat opened the scoring for the Wasps before Liam Craig levelled it and David Gray won it. Craig Sibbald got the only goal that won the tie for Falkirk against Cowdenbeath. St Johnstone also got a 2-1 win at home to Ross County. Michael O’Halloran and James McFadden scored for the Saints whilst Jake Jervis got the Staggies’ one. Stranraer got another bite at it though were losing 2-1 up until the 95th minute against Dunfermline Athletic! Andy Geggan and Gregor Buchanan had the Pars ahead up until the 80th minute when Willie Gibson got one back and then Craig Malcolm claimed the goal that levelled things. Replay will be next Tuesday the 9th December
In the games that I thought would end up going to teams higher in their respective leagues or to those in higher leagues the high scoring Bo’ness United have gone out. Having scored, almost at will in previous rounds, United came unstuck against Arbroath. The Red Lichties won 5-0 as Simon Murray got a hat trick and Paul McManus got a double. It was better fare for Annan Athletic as David Hopkirk equalised for them after Brechin City’s Colin Hamilton had opened the scoring. Replay will be next Tuesday the 9th December. Berwick Rangers also managed a draw as Darren Lavery put them ahead only for Mick Dunlop to equalise six minutes before the end for Albion Rovers. Replay will be next Tuesday the 9th December. Dundee United went through 2-1 against Motherwell after Henrik Ojamaa put the Steelmen ahead and John Souter and Keith Watson got United into the hat for the next round. A Ryan Stevenson double got Partick Thistle past Hamilton Academical whilst St Mirren and Inverness Caledonian Thistle ended up playing their replay to a 4-0 finish for Caley on Tuesday the 2nd. On Saturday Mark McAusland and Josh Meekings got the goals that sent them to that replay at Inverness. Gary Warren, a penalty from Greg Tansey, Danny Williams and Graeme Shinnie sent Thistle into the next round. On Saturday we also had Raith Rovers get past Stirling Albion 2-0 thanks to Barrie McKay and Grant Anderson.
On Sunday Rangers passed their latest Premiership test as they beat Kilmarnock 3-0 thanks to two goals from Nicky Law and one from Kris Boyd. Finally Celtic took on Championship side Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle and left with a very decent win but a controversial aftermath. The Jambo’s skipper Morgaro Gomis got sent off before Virgil Van Dyke scored twice, John Guidetti got a debatable penalty, Anthony Stokes got the fifth and Ann Budge complained over behaviour that is reminiscent of what happened when Celtic visited Motherwell last year.
The Fifth Round now looks like this: –
Queen of the South v St Johnstone
Rangers v Raith Rovers
Dundee v Celtic
Hibernian v Arbroath
Falkirk v Annan Athletic or Brechin City
Stranraer or Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee United
Partick Thistle v Inverness Caley Thistle
Spartans v Berwick Rangers or Albion Rovers
Ties to be played weekend of February 7