Scottish Football: Underdogs earn second bite at peers

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The Independent Online
EVEN without the ultimate thrill of victory, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County will feel they have done their bit to show that the underdogs of the lower leagues can, when given the chance, bite the ankles of their peers.

The Inverness side took the lead at Dundee United before conceding an equaliser nine minutes from time while Ross County, from the Third Division, rocked United's neighbours Dundee in another draw, the smaller club again scoring first. The winners travel to either Ibrox or Fir Park.

If the two teams from the north were satisfied with their Saturday work, Ayr United, of the First Division, were delighted with a 2-0 victory over Kilmarnock, the holders. The Ayrshire derby is always a hard-fought affair and would not have been Killies' choice for a second defence of their trophy. Both goals came late.

Ayr's reward is a trip to Hearts, who eased by Albion Rovers with a 3- 0 victory. The only other decided tie sees Falkirk, the beaten finalists last year, take on St Johnstone.

It took a mistake by Motherwell keeper Steve Woods to allow Rangers to equalise, Gordon Durie scoring seven minutes from time in the 2-2 draw.

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, will decide if Brian Laudrup is ready for the replay on Tuesday night, having dropped Laudrup because he did not think the player was in the right frame of mind after transfer talks with Chelsea. Smith further believes his man had been used as a pawn in the power game to remove Ruud Gullit from his position as manager.

TENNENTS SCOTTISH CUP Fifth round draw: Hearts v Ayr Utd; Dundee Utd or Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Dunfermline or Celtic; Falkirk v St Johnstone; Motherwell or Rangers v Ross Co or Dundee. (Ties to be played Saturday 7 March).