Scottish Cup: Motherwell boss on brink as Raith fans sing 'sacked in morning', Inverness stun Livingston, Elgin so close to upset
Raith Rovers 3-1 Motherwell
Motherwell manager Steven Hammell suffered another serious blow as his team fell to a 3-1 Scottish Cup defeat by Raith Rovers. The cinch Premiership strugglers trailed to a Jamie Gullan penalty and a scrappy Sam Stanton goal at half-time before Kevin van Veen’s strike gave them hope . But Esmael Goncalves notched a debut goal in the 85th minute to put the fifth-round tie beyond doubt and cast uncertainty over the future of Hammell. The form guide suggested the Championship side would have more than a chance of knocking out their top-flight visitors. Rovers are now 12 games unbeaten and reached the SPFL Trust Trophy final on Wednesday by beating Dundee. Motherwell’s fourth-round win over Arbroath remains their only victory since October 29. There was further misery for Motherwell as Blair Spittal and Callum Slattery went off with muscle injuries ahead of their crucial Premiership clash with St Mirren on Wednesday. Hammell, Motherwell’s post-war record appearance holder, faced cries of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ from the Raith fans before some of the visiting supporters joined in.
Livingston 0-3 Inverness CT
Billy Mckay scored a stunning brace as Inverness made the most of their Scottish Cup reprieve to see off Livingston 3-0 and reach the quarter-finals. The experienced striker notched either side of a Sean Welsh header to dump Premiership outfit Livingston out of the competition. Caley were only still involved in the cup after Queen’s Park, their conquerors in the last round, were expelled for fielding the ineligible Euan Henderson in that game. Inverness – winners of the cup in 2015 – produced a ruthless display of counter-attacking football to leave the Lions shell-shocked. The home side were already well aware of the threat posed by the Championship team after being beaten 2-1 by their Highland counterparts in a League Cup group match last July. After a goalless first half and against he run of play, Inverness stormed ahead with a clinical strike from Mckay after 51 minutes. Jay Henderson lifted the ball over the top and Mckay lashed a half-volley into the top corner from the edge of the box. Inverness struck again just after the hour mark. Another ball over the top caused problems and Sean Welsh eventually headed in Nathan Shaw’s cross via the post. Mckay then added his second with 10 minutes left after firing another excellent drive into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Dundee United 0-1 Kilmarnock
Kilmarnock edged through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup with a narrow win over Dundee United at Tannadice. Kyle Vassell netted what proved to be the winner in the second half with his first goal for the club. United’s misery was made complete when debutant, on-loan Huddersfield defender Loick Ayina, was sent off late on. The visitors who finally broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when Dan Armstrong swung a corner in from the right with Vassell rose highest to beat Birighitti and power a header home. United were reduced to 10 men in the 78th minute when Ayina fouled Vassell, with the referee flashing a second yellow card followed by a red. Despite that, the Tangerines came agonisingly close to equalising when sub Aziz Behich smacked a long-range shot off the crossbar.
Ayr United 4-1 Elgin City (aet)
Ayr United overcame Elgin City in extra time but were given a massive fright by the League 2 outfit, who were minutes away from securing a famous win. Kane Hester put Elgin ahead four minutes from the interval and looked to have secured a last-eight berth until Fraser Bryden equalised on the 90-minute mark. The Honest Men kicked on in the additional 30 minutes, with a Ben Dempsey penalty and a double from Dipo Akinyemi sealed victory for Lee Bullen’s men.