Motherwell 5 - 0 Cove Rangers: Well rout Highland opposition

Louis Moult  stoops to head home Motherwell's opener. Picture: SNS
Louis Moult stoops to head home Motherwell's opener. Picture: SNS
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Motherwell eased their way into the fifth-round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a 5-0 trouncing of Highland League side Cove Rangers at Fir Park.

Striker Louis Moult started the rout in the first minute with a close-range header and further goals from striker Scott McDonald, wide-man Marvin Johnson and midfielder Stephen Pearson had the tie finished by the interval.

Pearson grabbed his second just after the hour mark with a drive but the visitors worked hard to prevent further damage against the jaunty Ladbrokes Premiership outfit.

Motherwell’s first Scottish Cup win in four years took them into Monday night’s draw at Hampden Park where they will undoubtedly find stiffer opposition.

There were still punters taking their seats when Liam Grimshaw’s pass to Josh Law was crossed over Rangers’ returning keeper Stuart McKenzie to the back post for Moult to dip his head and knock the ball into the empty net.

Four minutes later, Rangers were stunned again when McDonald worked one-two with Pearson before driving into the corner of the net from 16 yards.

McKenzie made good saves from McDonald and Johnson before the former Kidderminster player lashed a shot high into the net from 14 yards with 32 minutes on the clock.

It was all too easy for the Steelmen and just before the break a sweeping move following a Cove corner involving McDonald, Law and Moult ended with Pearson rifling a low angled-drive into the far corner.

The second-half was a formality for Mark McGhee’s side.

Veteran forward James McFadden replaced Moult in the 52nd minute to make his third debut for Motherwell while Lionel Ainsworth came on for Johnson.

The visitors survived several more attempts on their goal before the 61st minute when Ainsworth set up Pearson to guide the ball past McKenzie.

Moments later, however, Well keeper Connor Ripley denied Cove striker Daryl Nicol with a terrific save, pushing his low drive round the post for a corner which came to nothing.

But it was Motherwell who looked more likely to add to their score with players at times lining up to get a shot away.

Amid the pressure on his goal McKenzie touched McDonald’s 25-yard drive past his left-hand post for a corner which was defended by the visitors.

McDonald then thundered a drive against the back of stretching Cove defender Alan Redford after being unselfishly played in by McFadden.

With seconds remaining Motherwell defender Steven Hammell cleared off the line to prevent Nicol getting a consolation for Cove who were applauded off by both sets of supporters.