BetFred Cup – Match Day 5 Review

With the 2017/18 Group Section’s now finished, here is a review of the final weekend of action with confirmed table’s and qualifiers.

Group A

Brechin Cty 0-3 Falkirk

Falkirk sealed their place into the last 16 on Tuesday against Forfar but kept their 100% record up at the start of this season with a convincing victory against Brechin. Lee Miller opened the scoring for the Bairns on 20 minutes before Joe McKee scored his third goal of the season to double Peter Houston’s sides lead just 7 minutes into the second half. Alex Harris completed the scoring with 18 minutes to go after firing home an effort from outside the box into the bottom left-hand corner.

Forfar Athletic 1-2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

It was a quick-fire 10 minutes at the beginning of the second period with all 3 goals happening in that period at Station Park. Marc Scott fired the Loons ahead from close range on 49 minutes before George Oakley equalised for the Championship club just five minutes later before John Baird converted a corner 60 seconds afterwards, to seal victory for John Robertson’s side.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Falkirk 4 12 12

2, Inverness 4 2 8

3. Stirling 4 1 7

4. Brechin 4 -8 2

5. Forfar 44 -7 1

Group B

Elgin City 0-3 Peterhead

Peterhead gave themselves a chance to qualify as a best runner-up after defeating fellow League Two side Elgin. Paul Cairney got the Blue Toon off to the perfect start after finding the net just 4 minutes in. David McCracken got his first for the club 9 minutes before the break before Jamie Stevenson rounded off the BetFred Cup group section for Jim McInally’s side with a second half strike to put gloss onto a result that wasn’t as comfortable as the score-line suggests.

Heart of Midlothian 2-2 Dunfermline Athletic (Dunfermline Athletic win 3-1 on Penalties)

The Pars hung on in the end to seal the point they needed to qualify automatically for the next round. With the Jambos needing to win, they started the game brightly and scored early on with Don Cowie firing past Sean Murdoch, 20 minutes in. Less than 10 minutes later, Joe Cardle twisted and turned inside the area and fired a left-footed effort past Jack Hamilton in the home goal. Callum Smith set up Declan McManus who fired Allan Johnston’s men in front just 7 minutes into the second half before Esmael Goncalves scrambled Hearts level late on. Despite pressure on the Pars rearguard, the Premiership side couldn’t find an all important and crucial third goal, to see Ian Cathro’s side crash out of the BetFred Cup at the first hurdle. Despite both sides already knowing their fate, a bonus point was available via the penalty-shoot-out and it was the Pars who rubbed more salt into the wounds of the already downbeat Jambos. Michael Paton, Scott Lochhead and Nat Wedderburn converted their spot kicks for the Pars while Declan McManus saw his effort saved by Jack Hamilton. Kyle Lafferty put the ball into the net, via the goalpost, but it wasn’t enough after misses from Jordan McGhee, Malaury Martin and Don Cowie, who all blazed their penalties high and wide.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Dunfermline 4 10 10

2, Peterhead 4 1 9

3. Hearts 4 3 7

4. East Fife 4 -3 4

5. Elgin 44 -11 0

Group C

Raith Rovers 2-0 Cowdenbeath

Lewis Vaughan and Liam Buchanan scored a goal apiece to seal a home victory for Barry Smith against Fife rivals Cowdenbeath. With the Blue Brazil having 0 shots on target, t was a comfortable afternoon for the Rovers. When Vaughan was found in the box he took a touch to set himself up before firing past Joe McGovern in the Cowden goal to fire the Kirkcaldy club ahead. Former Cowdenbeath frontman Buchanan then put his former employers to the sword with a simple finish from close range to end the game as a contest, just after the half-hour mark.

Dundee 1-1 Dundee United (Dundee United win 4-3 on Penalties)

It was joy for Ray McKinnon as his side won Group C ahead of local rivals Dundee. Paul McMullan put the Arabs ahead on the stroke of half-time with a neat finish after on-loan Hibs midfielder Sam Stanton set him up. Mark O’Hara equalised in the second half for the Dee after Scott Allan’s cross which sent the game to penalties, despite some late chances for the Dark Blues. Neil McCann’s side were to lose out on the bonus point, however, after Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Roarie Deacon had their efforts saved. Logan Chalmers missed for United but it wasn’t to matter because Paul McMullan, Billy King, Leiws Toshney and Scott McDonald converted their kicks to win the shoot-out 4-3.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Dundee Utd 4 8 11

2, Dundee 4 6 10

3. Raith 4 4 6

4. Cowdenbeath 4 -6 3

5. Buckie 4 -12 0

Group D

Alloa Athletic 0-3 Hibernian

As Vykintas Slivka and Devydas Matulevicius made their debuts as second half substitutes, Hibs ran out comfortable winners against their League One counterparts. Impressive youngster Fraser Murray fired the Hibees in front after 15 minutes before Simon Murray scored his 6th and 7th goals of the seasons since joining from Dundee United in the summer to seal a victory which sends Neil Lennon’s side through automatically after topping the Group D table.

Arbroath 0-0 Ross County (Ross County win 5-4 on Penalties)

A hard-fought match was drawn at Gayfield with neither side able to find the net in the regulation 90 minutes. After creating numerous chances, Jim McIntyre’s men will be slightly disappointed to only leave with two points after winning on spot kicks. Steven Doris then Michael Gardyne missed each side’s first penalty before 8 successful penalties were converted. When Ricky Little missed, it looked as if County were going to win it, but, Thomas Mikkelsen missed too. David Gold then shot over the bar before Tim Chow won it for the Highlanders.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Hibernian 4 12 10

2, Ross County 4 8 10

3. Arbroath 4 -1 6

4. Montrose 4 -13 3

5. Alloa 4 -6 1

Group E

Annan Athletic 1-6 Ayr United

Ayr completed four wins out of four as they qualified for the second round of the BetFred Cup. It was an incredible start by the Honest Men; Ross Docherty and Craig McGuffie struck within 3 minutes to put Ian McCall’s side two ahead. Former Dunfermline striker Michael Moffat got his second goal in successive matches before Craig Moore scored a fourth on the stroke of half-time. Andy Geggan headed home David Ferguson’s corner to make it five before Declan McDaid found the back of the net with nine minutes to play. Peter Murphy’s side did get a consolation late on when former Rangers youngster Ryan Sinammon fired home with five minutes to play.

Kilmarnock 3-0 Dumbarton

It was a brave display by an injury-ravaged Dumbarton side, but, Stevie Aitken’s men went down by three goals to nil at Rugby Park to end a miserable BetFred Cup campaign for the Championship part-timers. It took until the 53rd minute for Killie to open the scoring, when summer signing Chris Burke fired home before Kris Boyd scored with 18 minutes to play. Lee Erwin came off the bench to make his debut, after signing from Leeds the day prior, and it only took him fifteen minutes to open his account for Lee McCulloch’s men after he was set up by Kris Boyd.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Ayr 4 12 12

2, Kilmarnock 4 6 9

3. Clyde 4 -4 6

4. Annan 4 -8 2

5. Dumbarton 4 -6 1

Group F

Greenock Morton 5-0 Edinburgh City

With nearly 30 shots at goal, Jim Duffy’s men were in complete command at Cappielow as they romped home to a comfortable victory against Gary Jadine’s side. Bob McHugh grabbed the opener on 14 minutes, but, it took until the 53rd minute for the Ton to double their advantage through Jai Quitongo. Robert Thomson headed home before grabbing his second shortly afterwards before McHugh scored his third of the season in injury time to end the Renfrewshire clubs BetFred Cup campaign off in style.

Motherwell 1-0 Berwick Rangers

Despite winning the group, Motherwell have found it difficult over the past week to get past Edinburgh City and Berwick Rangers, both of League Two. However, in both matches Stephen Robinson’s side have found a way to grind out a win and that is what happened yesterday. Elliot Frear grabbed the only goal of the game with eight minutes remaining after he smashed the ball home from inside the box. The defeat was hard to take for the Wee Rangers, but they will take confidence I am sure going into their league campaign.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Motherwell 4 10 12

2, Morton 4 2 8

3. Queen’s Park 4 0 7

4. Edin. Cit 4 -9 2

5. Berwick 4 -3 1

Group G

Hamilton Academical 3-0 Stenhousemuir

Hamilton secured their passage into round 2 of the BetFred Cup with an easy win against Brown Ferguson’s Stenhousemuir. Ali Crawford opened the scoring on 15 minutes before David Templeton on 56. Steven Boyd, after scoring his first Hamilton goal last weekend, got on the goals trail again by rounding off the win for Martin Canning’s side in the 74th minute.

Queen of the South 2-2 Albion Rovers (Queen of the South win 4-3 on Penalties)

Despite gaining the bonus point, it wasn’t enough for Gary Naysmith’s side to progress in the BetFred Cup. Alan Trouten, a summer signing from Brechin, scored his 6th goal of the season to fire Rovers in front going into the break. But, Brian Kerr’s side found themselves level 19 minutes into the second half when Stephen Dobbie notched his fourth of the season. League One side Albion Rovers got a chance to win it in regulation time when Scott Mercer handled the ball in his own box. Alan Trouten converted but the game was sent to spot kicks when Darren Brownlie headed Queens level. After the first 4 penalties were scored, Jack Leightfield and then Alan Reid missed in quick succession for either side. Ross Davidson missed the crucial penalty for Albion which allowed Kyle Jacobs to win the bonus point for the Dumfries side.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Hamilton 4 5 9

2, Albion 4 3 7

3. Q..O.T.S 4 2 7

4. East Kilbride 4 -4 5

5. S’housemuir 4 -6 2

Group H

Partick Thistle 1-0 Stranraer

Chrstie Elliott fired a late goal ro secure a win and progression to the next round for Alan Archibald’s side. With the game largely dominated by the home side, a goal was likely to come as the game went on and that is what happened when full-back Elliott got a left footed shot away from inside the area.

St Mirren 5-0 Airdrieonians

In a match that didn’t matter to either side, it was Jack Ross’ Championship hopefuls that came out on top. Cammy Smith opened the scoring early on before Gavin Reilly found the net on 31 minutes. He got his second of the game to put Saints on easy street with 21 minutes remaining before late goals, at the Paisley 2021 Stadium, from Lewis Morgan and then Smith again ended a disappointing campaign for the Buddies in style.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Livingston 4 5 11

2, Partick 4 7 10

3. St Mirren 4 2 6

4. Airdrie 4 -6 3

5. Stranraer 4 -8 0

BetFred Cup – Round 2

St Johnstone versus Partick Thistle

Hibernian versus Ayr United

Rangers versus Dunfermline

Ross County versus Motherwell

Falkirk versus Livingston

Hamilton versus Aberdeen

Celtic versus Kilmarnock

Dundee vs Dundee United

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