BetFred Cup Last 16 – Tuesday Round-Up

Celtc 5-0 Kilmarnock

A host of changes didn’t see the tide turn in this one-sided game at Parkhead Johnny Hayes was upended early on by winger Jordan Jones and that allowed Leigh Griffiths to slot home the opening goal after 14 minutes. Just seven minutes later and 18-year-old right-back Tony Ralston scored his first senior goal and the Hoops’ second of the evening, after rising highest to header home Griffiths’ corner, with Jamie MacDonald no chance in the Killie goal. Not long after and the crowd were on their feet again after Griffiths sprung the offside trap to get onto the end of Kieran Terney’s loose ball, to coolly slot the ball into the net. With Tierney looking solid defensively, it would make you think his attacking side would be reigned in yesterday evening but the regular Celtic full-back dd get high enough up the pitch to bullet home a fourth goal for Brendan Rodgers’ side. The Celtic captain – in the absence of Scott Brown – lashed home from way-out to deepen the wounds of the already fragile Killie rearguard. The rout was complete with just under twenty minutes to go, when Stuart Armstrong notched his first goal in SPFL competition this season after getting onto the end of a low Hayes delivery. A hard shift for Lee McCulloch’s side as the Celts stroll through to the quarter=finals.

Falkirk 1-2 Livingston (AET)

It is David Hopkin’s Livi Lions who continue to impress everyone this season after another scalp saw them dump Falkirk out of the BetFred Cup. It was the newly-promoted League One champions who were on the back-foot early on but neither Myles Hippolyte nor Nathan Austin could find the net. At the other end, Danny Mullen – who has been on trial with Cardiff City recently – set up Scott Robinson, with the former Hearts and Kilmarnock midfielder sweeping home to fire the visitors in front. James Craigen brought the game back level just before the break with a neat finish inside the area, leaving Neil Alexander with no chance. With neither side able to score the all important winner within regulation time, the first extra time session of the 2017/18 season took place, with the Bairns being left empty handed come full-time. After finishing top of their BetFred Cup group section – and having drew with Dunfermline at the weekend in the opening Ladbrokes Championship match of the season – Livingston went on to win the tie and reach the quarter-final’s when Italian Raffaele De-Vita fired home after Peter Houston’s side failed to deal with a Josh Mullin delivery from out wide. The defeat condemns Falkirk to their second defeat in just a matter of days, with injury and suspension worries mounting for the Barins’ gaffer.

Hibernian 5-0 Ayr United

Despite a valiant effort, Ian McCall’s Ayr were unable to maintain their unbeaten start to the competitive season after falling tp a heavy defeat at Easter Road. Returning striker, for a third spell, Anthony Stokes headed past Jordan Hart to open the scoring after Danny Swanson done well to create the opening. Hibs doubled their lead before the break with Simon Murray once again getting on the goal sheet, with the ex-Dundee United forward planting his ninth goal of the campaign into the net after a Stokes pass had sliced open the United defence. After a couple of missed attempts, Stokes did manage to get his second, to virtually kill the tie off, after meeting Murray’s centred delivery. From a John McGinn corner, the Honest Men couldn’t clear their lines and Efe Ambrose was on hand to rub salt into the wounds of the League One side. 33-times capped Lithuanian forward Deivydas Matulevicius rounded off the scoring after entering the field of play. The substitute made it five with the same amount of time left to play after his deflected effort found it’s way past Hart in the Ayr goal to complete a near-perfect start to the season for Hibees boss Neil Lennon.

St Johnstone 0-3 Partick Thistle

Despite only one natural striker in their 18-man pool, last night saw Alan Archibald’s men pull off a fantastic away victory which will see them through into the quarter-final’s of the BetFred Cup. It an uninspiring first-half, few chances were created with Kevin Nisbet forcing Alan Mannus into the only real save of the half. Despite half-chances for Steven Anderson and Graham Cummins, the Saints never really threatened the depleted away side who added to their list of casualties in the opening period when defender Danny Devine hobbled off. It was Nisbet who assisted the opener after he was taken out by Anderson inside the area. Despite the protestations, the referee was unwavering in his decision, before Steven Lawless fired the ball past the despairing dive of Mannus, sending the keeper the wrong way to open the scoring. Anderson tried to make amends for his error but he missed two glorious chances for the hosts; his first headed effort was defended on the line before he flashed a header over with a goal looking the more likely option. With Kris Doolan and Blair Spittal out injured, Chris Erskine and Kevin Nisbet were the driving force of the attack and it was the youngster who fired Thistle’s next two efforts at goal, but they went wide of the Northern Irish goalkeeper’s goal-frame before Aussie Ryan Edwards doubled Thistle’s advantage. Tommy Wright’s side were unable to force their way back into the match despite a lot of pressure with Archibald’s side staying strong defensively to come away from McDiarmid Park with a clean-sheet. The night was complete when Chris Erskine got onto the end of a Nisbet flick-on to fire in a third to compound matters further for the hosts, who crash out of the BetFred Cup at their opening stage.

WEDNESDAY EVENING FIXTURES

Dundee versus Dundee United

Hamilton Academical versus Aberdeen

Rangers versus Dunfermline Athletic

Ross County versus Motherwell

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