Round-Up: Elliot finds form to punish Dons

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The Independent Football

Rix, who finished off a good week in which he benefited from the largesse of owner Vladimir Romanov with eight signings, saw that strength in depth underlined with an emphatic 3-0 victory at Tynecastle.

It was the Scots in Rix's outfit who came to the fore. The teenaged Calum Elliot set up Michal Pospisil's opener, although the Czech striker's volley was spectacular, and Elliot then scored himself with a near-post finish before Steven Pressley sealed the triumph just before the interval with a penalty after Zander Diamond, who was sent off, brought down Pospisil.

"I thought our first-half performance was excellent, which is good considering we were missing Rudi Skacel, Paul Hartley and Takis Fyssas," said the Hearts manager, whose joy was tempered by the news that his record £850,000 signing, Mirsad Beslija, suffered a knee injury on his debut. Hearts were the last team outside the Old Firm to win the cup, in 1998, and there is a very real prospect that just two top-flight teams could be left in after the replays.

Falkirk needed a late equaliser at home to Ross County to avoid an exit. Danny McBreen's 79th-minute finish cancelled out Don Cowie's first-half strike. Inverness Caledonian Thistle suffered as Mark Roberts' stoppage-time penalty gave Partick Thistle a 2-2 draw. Roberts had put the Second Division team in front before Roy McBain equalised, and then Craig Dargo's 77th-minute header gave Inverness a glimpse of the last eight.

Celtic's conquerors, Clyde, also suffered from their reputation going before them. Graham Roberts' side were held 0-0 at home by the Second Division leaders, Gretna. Three men were sent off - Chris Innes for the visitors, Alex Williams and Chris Higgins for Clyde - prompting trouble in the tunnel afterwards.

"We played Celtic off the park here but so many of my players didn't turn up to today," said Roberts. "However, we're still in it and I am sure Rangers would love to be in our shoes."

Airdrie United earned a replay thanks to Willie McLaren's 59th-minute equaliser at home to Dun-dee, for whom teenager Bryan Deasley had scored in 21 minutes. Second Division Alloa held First Division Hamilton away.

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