Giant-killing Spartans hoping to extend home comforts to Livingston

Spartan by name, spartan by nature. The Scottish Cup's new giantkillers are ready to forego the comforts of the big stage in order to unsettle the next potential victim on their list.

Spartans, the only surviving non-league team, want to play host to Livingston in the fourth round at their own shabby ground, even though it will mean throwing away a fortune.

Mickey Lawson, the manager, who plotted the remarkable 4-1 success away to Arbroath on Saturday - adding their scalp to that of another Second Division team, Alloa, from the previous round - is ready to resist calls to play the game against their Premier Division opponents away from the rundown City Park in Edinburgh, where the demolition men are poised to tear down the stand.

Police would rather the giantkillers switched the biggest game in their 53-year history to nearby Easter Road or the Commonwealth Stadium, but Lawson feels they should stick to their 3,000 capacity home. "We played Alloa there and I don't see why it should not be good enough for Livingston too," Lawson said. "The only problem would be if the stand was torn down before then [7 February] but we have Portakabins ordered. A fairytale draw would have been going to Celtic or Rangers, but meeting a side like Livingston is great for my players."

Spartans allowed Arbroath to forge ahead through John McGlashan before Keith McLeod, Phil Johnson and two goals from Craig Manson uncorked wild scenes of celebration.

There was almost a shock of greater proportions at Parkhead, where Ross County rewarded the 5,000 fans who followed them from the Highlands - the First Division side's home town, Dingwall, has just 6,000 inhabitants - with the prospect of a draw against Celtic. However, John Hartson wrecked that dream by breaking the stalemate on 74 minutes before Paul Lambert added another.

"We were fortunate," Martin O'Neill admitted. "If it had not been for a great double save from Robert Douglas when it was 0-0, we could have been in trouble."

Partick Thistle survived a tricky trip to Greenock. Many felt the SPL's bottom side would come unstuck against the Second Division leaders but even with a crowd of almost 7,000 squeezed inside a hostile Cappielow Park, David Rowson's strike and two penalties from James Grady eased Partick through.

Kilmarnock have had nothing but bad luck since winning the trophy in 1997, but they wiped out a series of defeats to lower league sides by winning 3-1 at Raith Rovers.

Last season's finalists Dundee face a replay after drawing 0-0 at Aberdeen but their city rivals, Dundee United, are out after losing 3-1 to Dunfermline Athletic.

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