Hibernian look to youth in the century-old quest to regain the Cup

Scottish Cup third round
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Hibernian's perennial quest to embrace the Scottish Cup again is now more than a century old, but youth has scant respect for that sort of statistic. Two of Tony Mowbray's impressive crop of teenagers, Steven Whittaker and Sam Morrow, secured their progress into tomorrow's fourth-round draw.

The Edinburgh club set out every year with ambitions of parading the trophy they last won in 1902 down Princes Street, but it invariably ends in disappointment.

Both Whittaker and Morrow were still in school when Hibernian lost the 2001 final to Celtic, but their late impact on yesterday's encounter at Easter Road with Dundee knocked out the 2003 finalists.

The third-round tie between the two Scottish Premier League sides seemed destined to go to a replay until Whittaker's sublime 76th-minute goal. Morrow then killed off Dundee on 87 minutes with a tight, angled finish. "We should have been out of sight with the chances we had early in the game," said Mowbray.

Their Edinburgh rivals, Hearts, will have to endure a replay after being held to a 0-0 draw with First Division strugglers Partick Thistle at Firhill.

In another all-Premier tie, two recent winners of the trophy met at Rugby Park. Kilmarnock - the 1997 winners - knocked out Motherwell (1991) thanks to goals from Gary McDonald and Kris Boyd just before half-time. The visitors also had Stephen Craigan sent off late on. Their manager, Jim Jefferies, reflected: "That should give my side belief that we can beat anyone in this competition."

Last season's beaten finalists, Dunfermline Athletic, suffered an ignominious 0-0 draw away to East Fife. David Hay's side were jeered off the pitch after the display against their Third Division neighbours and the Dunfermline manager said: "When the game is as tight as that, anything can happen - we are relieved to still be in the cup."

Aberdeen enjoyed a successful trip down the north-east coast to win 2-0 at Arbroath, overcoming the Second Division side with a 12th-minute header from Markus Heikkinen and Darren Mackie's seventh goal of the season on 67 minutes.

However, probably the real surprise came from a tie that involved two sides from the same tier. Falkirk, who lead the First Division by 14 points, were expected to beat Clyde but went down 3-0 at Broadwood. Ian Harty scored twice for the home club and veteran Gary Bollan added a 35-yard free-kick.

St Mirren, who won the trophy in 1987, also met fellow First Division opponents and swept Hamilton aside 3-0 at home, thanks to Stewart Kean's double and another from Alan Russell.

Two Second Division sides, Ayr United and Stranraer, shared six goals at Somerset Park, with Derek Wingate's 71st-minute equaliser for the visitors setting up a replay at Stranraer.

Gretna's chance of creating cup romance by knocking out Dundee United was put on ice as severe flooding saw the match postponed, along with the Livingston versus Morton and Ross County versus Airdrie ties.

Comments