Steven Naismith was delighted at his side’s performance as they powered to the last eight of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup with a 4-1 thumping of Airdire.

Hearts raced into a three-goal lead with just 21 minutes on the clock after goals from Lawrence Shankland, Kenneth Vargas and Calem Nieuwenhof had them on easy street.

Adam Frizzell restored some hope for the hosts, though that would be extinguished when Shankland dinked home his 24th goal of the season with 17 minutes remaining.

“It was a really good performance, we scored early goals, scored four goals and it’s a comfortable night,” Naismith said.

“On top of that, the detail that we’d worked on, nearly all of it was right and the players executed it brilliantly.

“There was loads of positives. I’d say we’re still a good bit away, we could be more clinical and in some moments I think when it went 3-0 we picked the wrong option and were forcing it.”

Hearts will now travel to Morton in the quarter-finals, hoping to reach Hampden for the second time this season having already made the semi-final of the Viaplay Cup.

Dougie Imrie’s cinch Championship side shocked Motherwell to book their place in the next round, and Naismith is anticipating a tough encounter.

“Everybody in the last eight thinks they have a chance,” he added.

“Our tie away to Morton, people will think we are favourites, but think there’s a potential upset there.

“I think if we’re not at it then it’ll be a really difficult game, they’ve shown on Friday that they are a good team and are in form.

“We want to go as far as we can, one of the games this season that is disappointing is the semi-final in the last cup – we want to get to the semi-final and do well this time.”

Despite a night filled with positives for the Tynecastle side, there was one major disappointment as Craig Halkett limped off after 25 minutes.

Halkett had only recently returned from a year long lay-off with a ruptured ACL, though Naismith is hopeful the defender will make a speedy recovery.

“It’s just something with his knee, it doesn’t seem to be major but we don’t know at the moment,” he explained.

“We’ll just have to wait and see, at that moment in the game there wasn’t any major risk to continue on.”

Airdrie boss Rhys McCabe felt his side were competitive against their Premiership opponents, despite coming out on the end of a comprehensive defeat.

“I thought for large parts of the first half we were competitive,” McCabe said.

“We started the game really well with intent and didn’t sit off the game as probably a lot of smaller clubs would do against a big club like Hearts.

“You give a player the quality of Lawrence Shankland three or four opportunities then he’s bound to take one or two.

“There are loads of positives going around this club, yes we lost the game and are disappointed, but we’ve just come up from League One through the play-offs, got into the last 16 of the Scottish Cup and have the final of the Challenge Cup against The New Saints in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Hearts booked a Scottish Gas Scottish Cup quarter-final clash with Morton after a first-half blitz powered them to a 4-1 victory at Airdrie.

Lawrence Shankland was yet again the key man for Steven Naismith’s side, with the captain bagging a brace to take his tally for the season to 24.

Shankland fired the Jambos in front and despite a positive response from the home side, the game was soon almost out of reach.

Kenneth Vargas and Calem Nieuwenhof both found the net to have the visitors on easy street with just 21 minutes on the clock.

There was a glimmer of hope for the Diamonds following Adam Frizzell’s glancing header after 34 minutes, but Shankland would add a decisive fourth with 17 minutes remaining to cap off an emphatic victory.

Craig Gordon returned between the sticks for the visitors, with Naismith making three changes from the side that defeated St Johnstone in midweek.

Jorge Grant and Craig Halkett were also handed starting roles, replacing Frankie Kent and Scott Fraser.

Arron Lyall made his first start for Airdrie since joining the club on loan from Rangers, the 20-year-old coming in for Liam McStravick.

The game began at a frantic pace and the home side forced three corners in the opening 10 minutes.

Hearts struck first in the 11th minute following a sweeping passing move that ended with Shankland powering home Alex Cochrane’s cutback.

Despite suffering an early setback, Airdrie responded well and looked to take the game to their cinch Premiership opponents.

Lyall’s cross almost caught out Gordon, but drifted just wide of the target, before Nikolay Todorov forced a wonderful close-range stop from the Hearts goalkeeper.

The Jambos survived a huge scare when Mason Hancock’s header from Charlie Telfer’s corner cannoned back off the crossbar.

Airdrie would be punished for not taking the chances that came their way when Kenneth Vargas doubled the visitors’ lead. The Costa Rican striker raced on to Halkett’s perfect through pass before prodding the ball past Josh Rae.

Suddenly, the Diamonds were facing a rout and they would concede again three minutes later after Nieuwenhof angled a low drive into the bottom corner.

Hearts were now cruising, though they would be dealt a blow when Halkett limped off to be replaced by Kye Rowles.

Alan Forrest worked Rae with a fizzing volley before the hosts gave themselves a glimmer of hope by reducing the deficit.

Hancock picked out Frizzell with a pin-point cross and the Airdrie skipper glanced beyond Gordon.

Rae denied Forrest and Dexter Lembikisa’s long-range strike either side of half-time as Hearts looked to put the game beyond doubt, but the hosts continued to demonstrate a threat of their own.

Lewis McGregor’s cross almost dropped under the crossbar with Gordon scrambling, and the introduction of Calum Gallagher for the final 23 minutes added an extra dimension to the Airdrie attack.

Any hopes of a shock comeback were extinguished after 73 minutes when Shankland was released by Fraser and the striker produced a typically composed finish to dink over the keeper.

Brendan Rodgers railed against the negative narrative around Celtic and him after reaching the quarter-finals of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup with a 2-0 win over St Mirren.

Despite sitting three points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers at the top of the cinch Premiership, the Parkhead boss has come under fire for the Hoops’ style of play this season and also for his recruitment.

The holders were shorn of defenders Alistair Johnston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Greg Taylor through injury but Japanese duo Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda netted against a spirited home side to earn a home quarter-final tie against Livingston.

Rodgers, who returned to Celtic Park for a second spell in the summer following the departure of Ange Postecoglou to Tottenham, noted that it is now eight wins and a draw in nine games for the Hoops – difficult to construe as any sort of a crisis.

He said: “It’s obviously (a narrative that’s) been created outside.

“But I don’t expect anything less to be honest. We just focus on ourselves.

“We are a winning club. When you’ve won consistently over a number of years, people will look to jump on you and bring us down – and bring me down.

“I am here to win. For sure we will have our day, and have many days going forward.

“We’ll get our influential players back and the squad will be very strong to the end of the season. We’ll continue to fight.

“We just have to prove a point to ourselves and our supporters. I think that’s always the best attitude. You are always looking to prove a point.

“It’s a part of the world where there is a lot of noise – and this year in particular when it (Celtic’s play) maybe hasn’t been as fluent.

“We get compared to the squad of last season but one, it’s not the same squad as last season, and two, a lot of those players who were starting last season have not been playing all of this season.

“But it hasn’t stopped the negativity.

“But I use it in a different way and look logically at it. We’ve missed some important players for long periods and we made some changes in the summer.

“This is a young group of players here who are giving everything, who are looking to develop and improve. If they keep doing that we’ll keep winning games.”

On Israel winger Liel Abada’s omission from the squad altogether, Rodgers said: “He wasn’t in a right frame of mind.

“I’ve spoke a lot to Liel and it has been a challenging time for him. I just felt when he came into the game (at Hibernian) the other night, it just wasn’t him.

“So we gave him this chance to have a few days and clear his mind. I’ll have a chat with him again next week, see where he’s at.”

Johnston picked up a head injury in the midweek win over Hibs and Rodgers said: “We’re just waiting to see again on him.

“A slight fracture on the side. The thinking is we’ll have a look in 10 days to see where he’s at.

“But it could be 10 days to four weeks. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson was both “proud” and “frustrated” about his side’s performance as they exited the cup.

He said: “I’m proud of them, but frustrated at the same time because we had chances and we weren’t clinical enough

“There has to be credit given to Celtic for the two chances they take, they are clinical, and they defended very, very well in their box.

“There were two or three blocks that were fantastic, and ultimately they were better in both 18-yard boxes.

“So, for all the stuff we did in between, they deserved to win the game.”

Japanese duo Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda scored as holders Celtic beat spirited St Mirren 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup.

Furuhashi finished off a fine move against the run of play after 15 minutes to give the cinch Premiership leaders a slender half-time lead at the SMiSA Stadium.

Alex Gogic had come close a couple of times for the Buddies in the first half but the Saints could not find a breakthrough and Maeda pounced from close range in the 52nd minute to double Celtic’s lead.

St Mirren could not get back into the game and will rue missed chances and although it was not a sparkling performance from a Celtic side who have been unconvincing recently, it kept intact boss Brendan Rodgers’ record of not having lost a Scottish Cup tie in two spells at the club.

Last season’s domestic treble winners did not arrive in Paisley without concerns.

Despite sitting three points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers at the top of the Premiership, many fans have been at loggerheads with the club, from complaints about the board’s perceived resistance to splashing the cash in the recent transfer window to Rodgers and his team’s style of play.

The Hoops boss brought in Furuhashi to support birthday boy Adam Idah, who turned 23 on Sunday, up front with defender Anthony Ralston and winger Luis Palma also coming into the side.

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson was unable to play on-loan midfielder Kwon Hyeok-kyu against his parent club, while James Bolton was suspended and James Scott dropped to the bench as Charles Dunne, Keanu Baccus and Lewis Jamieson returned for the home side, who made an encouraging start – only to be hit by a stunning goal from a sweeping Celtic move.

Hoops skipper Callum McGregor sent Palma running in to acres of space down the left and when he squared to Kyogo he assertively side-footed his finish past Buddies keeper Zach Hemming for his 12th goal of the season.

Back came Saints, forcing Celtic to defend again while being unable to really test Joe Hart, although the Celtic keeper was fortunate on the half-hour mark when Gogic rattled the bar with a shot on the turn following a Caolan Boyd-Munce corner.

Another swift Celtic move in the 38th minute saw Maeda knock a Palma cross past the post, before Baccus crashed into the VAR monitor on the sidelines leaving a technician to try to reassemble it.

Palma was booked by referee David Dickinson for diving inside the St Mirren box before a spectacular overhead kick from Gogic drew a great save from Hart, as Saints piled on the pressure.

Celtic should have scored again at the start of the second half.

On-loan Norwich striker Idah had a good opportunity from a Ralston pass but missed the target with a shot on the slide.

However, Celtic did not have to wait much longer to make it 2-0 as Palma cross from the left was met by Matt O’Riley and when his shot rebounded off the bar, Maeda knocked the ball into the net from six yards.

St Mirren kept plugging away as they chased a foothold back into the game.

On the hour-mark Greg Kiltie failed to connect properly with a Scott Tanser cross and the ball sped wide and substitute Scott came close in the 71st minute with an angled drive.

There was more defending to do for Celtic as the home side kept going all the way to the final whistle without reward, while there were also chances on the break for the Parkhead outfit to stretch their lead.

Scott Brown claimed referee Willie Collum crumbled under a “pressure decision” when he did not send off Fabio Silva in Rangers’ 2-0 win over cinch Championship side Ayr at Ibrox.

The Portuguese forward had been booked in the first half of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup last-16 tie where the home side took the lead after 10 minutes through a Borna Barisic strike which deflected in off Roy Syla, when he tackled George Granger after the break.

Collum resisted the temptation to flash a second yellow before he soon cautioned Brown for complaining – and then Silva, on loan from Wolves, netted the second after 76 minutes to take the Light Blues into the quarter-final draw.

Gers boss Philippe Clement had on Friday backed Collum despite Rangers reportedly asking the Scottish Football Association not to appoint the official to any of their games going forward after his part as the VAR official in a contentious non-penalty decision which went against them in their Old Firm derby defeat at the end of the year.

It was Collum’s first involvement with Rangers since and former Celtic captain Brown was unimpressed.

The Somerset Park boss said: “The second goal comes from a man who probably shouldn’t be on the park.

“It was a big decision, a pressure decision and it probably was not the right decision.

“I knew he was never going to get sent off, that it was never going to be a red card. I think if it had been the other way around it could have been.

“It was the pressure, coming into these big occasions. Some people can deal with it, some people can’t.

“Willie is used to giving me yellow cards – I think he has missed me.”

Asked if he had quizzed Collum about Silva’s challenge, Brown said: “There is no point, it doesn’t change anything. I was disappointed at the time and then he goes on and scores the goal.

“So it is a harsh lesson but for me it is more about us and how we performed.

“A young team having a belief, because a lot of Premiership teams will just come here and defend but we knew we had to try and play.

“We don’t have that huge target man so we had to try and play. We had to move the ball really well, we had a shape and structure. We were fine throughout the whole game. I never felt we would lose that many goals.”

Clement disagreed with Brown’s assessment of Silva’s tackle.

He said: “No, he got a kick on his leg in that action. You need to look closely at the images.

“He showed me there were studs (marks) on the top of his leg.”

Clement took the opportunity to make seven changes to his side.

Mohamed Diomande, the Ivorian midfielder signed from Danish Superliga club Nordsjaelland and Colombian winger Oscar Cortes – on loan from Lens – were handed were handed their first starts, with the latter particularly impresssive in the hour he played.

Clement spoke about a “positive evening” in his assessment.

He said: “After three minutes we could have scored two goals. In football you also need a little bit of luck and that was not on our side today in the finishing, and all respect also to our opponents, who gave their lives to stop the goals, also in the second half by making saves on the goal line.

“It is a positive evening. The other positive thing is to play that kind of game for so many fans, that is maybe the most positive thing of the evening. In that way, I would have wished to give the fans more goals.”

Oscar Cortes shone in his first Rangers start as the Light Blues made their way into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup with a 2-0 win over Ayr at Ibrox.

The 20-year-old Colombian winger, on loan from French side Lens with an option for the Rangers to buy, had a couple of efforts on goal before he set up Borna Barisic’s low drive, which deflected in off Somerset Park midfielder Roy Syla after only 10 minutes.

However, Cortes departed after an hour with the Govan side struggling to see off the Championship side, managed by former Celtic captain Scott Brown, before on-loan Wolves striker Fabio Silva added a second in the 76th minute.

It was far from Rangers’ best performance of the season, but Gers boss Philippe Clement, who has already won the Viaplay Cup while hauling his side back into the cinch Premiership title race, will look forward to the next round.

Clement took the opportunity against the lower league side to make seven changes to his side.

Mohamed Diomande, the Ivorian midfielder signed from Nordsaelland, and Cortes were both handed their first starts with Barisic, Scott Wright, Ryan Jack, Nicolas Raskin and Silva also coming into the Rangers starting XI.

The visitors were backed by a good travelling support, who watched Cortes clip the outside of the post with a curling 20-yard drive in the second minute and had another effort saved by United goalkeeper Robbie Mutch.

Cortes was at the heart of much of Rangers’ early work and when he cut the ball back for Barisic, the left-back’s drive from 14 yards took a nick off former Albania Under-21 international midfielder Syla and wrong-footed Mutch.

Rangers dominated but after Connor Goldson lost possession, fellow Gers defender John Souttar’s saving challenge on Anton Dowds denied the Ayr attacker a shot on goal in the consequent break.

The visitors began to edge forward with growing belief, but just before the half-hour mark, Silva should have done better with a Barisic cross than heading wide from eight yards.

The lively Cortes screwed a shot just wide of the far post and a Barisic volley from a swirling Wright cross came off United’s George Stanger and keeper Mutch had to react quickly to save.

The Honest Men’s Ben Dempsey missed the target early on with an effort which should have at least been on target.

Portuguese striker Silva, booked in the first half for a foul on Nick McAllister, was perhaps lucky to escape further punishment when he appeared to leave his foot in on a tackle on Stanger and eyes went on referee Willie Collum.

Clement had on Friday backed Collum, despite Rangers reportedly asking the Scottish Football Association not to appoint the official to any of their games going forward after his part as the VAR officials in a contentious non-penalty decision which went against the Light Blues in their Old Firm derby defeat at the end of the year.

Collum took no action against Silva and United boss Brown vented at fourth official Craig Napier, and he soon saw yellow himself to the cheers of the home fans.

Clement brought on Todd Cantwell, Ridvan Yilmaz and Rabbi Matondo for Diomande, Barisic and Cortes just after the hour mark.

However, Silva ended any hopes of a shock when he fired in from 12 yards after Cantwell’s chip rebounded off the post, with VAR confirming the ball had not come off the arm of Matondo before it hit woodwork.

Livingston manager David Martindale hailed the character of his side after they came back from two goals down to claim a dramatic 3-2 win in extra time against Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup.

Livi found themselves in trouble after Kerr McInroy’s superb low strike from 25 yards and Aidan Fitzpatrick’s near-post shot but Joel Nouble tapped in to bring them back into the game and the striker’s thunderous finish from a tight angle forced extra time.

The match looked to be heading for penalties but Tete Yengi headed home Jamie Brandon’s cross in the final minute to send Livi – who remain without a win in 17 league games – through to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2005.

Martindale said: “I think there’s been a lot of good performances in the league also but I just felt today the boys could have crumbled very easily and gone under at 2-0 down.

“We could have felt sorry for ourselves and accepted defeat but we didn’t do that.

“I felt the substitutes helped us in the game. I just felt our overall play was very, very good.

“We created a lot of chances, our entries into the final third and our passages of play, our movement and our intensity was all there.

“The difference between today and our other games was we actually had a better execution in the final third.

“We’ve made a lot of chances over the last seven or eight games and not taken them.

“Today we took our chances. Even at 2-1 I had a wee feeling. The longer the game went on, I was more confident.

“I was fairly positive we were going to come out on the positive end of the result.

“I’m not bothered who we get in the draw. I’d take anyone at home.

“Either of the Old Firm clubs away would be good financially for us but I’d like anyone at home.

“I’d like to take the club back to Hampden. We got there during Covid but I’d like to take the fans there.”

Partick manager Kris Doolan was gutted to lose at the death, with the match seemingly heading for spot-kicks.

He said: “To lose so late, it’s a sore one. By that stage you think it’s going to penalty kicks and it can be a bit of a lottery but to lose with about 20 seconds to go is a real sore one.

“There are lessons for us and for me to learn. Making two subs early on in hindsight was probably too quick but I kind of knew what was coming in terms of the physicality.

“We tried to pre-empt that and stop that but ultimately it’s difficult, they are such a powerful side and they made it count

“I’m just gutted we didn’t get through.”

Manager Nick Montgomery hailed the performance of Martin Boyle after the player inspired Hibernian’s 3-1 Scottish Gas Scottish Cup win at Inverness as they booked their place in the quarter-finals.

The Australia international starred as he scored in between Myziane Maolida’s opener and Elian Youan’s late strike as the Premiership outfit blitzed Caley Thistle in the second half to book their place in the last eight.

Boyle returned this week after playing for Australia in the Asian Cup and Montgomery admitted he is a massive influence for Hibs when he is on the pitch.

The Hibs boss said: “He is massively important. I said since January that I lost boys to international duty – along with Josh Campbell to injury – and not having Lewis Miller and Rocky Bushiri, you need them fit and available.

“It is great to have him back and you can see the difference in the last two games. He has been a real threat.

“He is a character and when he is off the field, you miss big characters. (It’s) great to have him back.

“He is a talisman, always a threat, but he is unselfish, he scores goals and creates goals. We saw he loves playing for Hibs and being out there.”

Montgomery admitted it was never easy for a Premiership club to take on opposition from a lower league, but was delighted they put in a professional performance against the Championship side.

He added: “It is never an easy cup tie to come here and I was really pleased with the boys’ effort.

“There are five new players that I brought in during January and I’m still getting boys fit.

“What I have lacked all the season is the impact off the bench and to make changes at half-time is what I planned to do and play high-intensity football and make changes as and when we needed.”

Aaron Doran pulled one back in second-half stoppage-time for the hosts, who rarely threatened to pull off a shock during the match.

Inverness manager Duncan Ferguson believed his team gave Hibernian a good game and had chances to level, but had no complaints with the final score.

He said: “We created one or two chances in the second half and hit the crossbar – we had chances.

“We had plenty of possession and we pushed them hard, but we are up against a good team and in the second half we gave them a couple of easy goals and afterwards we struggled after that.

“It just didn’t happen for us but we pushed and we played and got on the ball.

“We were brave, but they were strong on the counter attack, any time that we tried to attack.

“They have a lot of pacey players and I was pleased with the performance, but the goals were unavoidable.

“But I can’t complain too much as Hibernian are a good team.”

Derek McInnes was pleased as Kilmarnock continued their excellent form by defeating Cove Rangers to reach the quarter-finals of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup.

After surviving an early scare, the hosts broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when Marley Watkins netted for the second time in as many matches.

The second half was much more positive for Killie, and they would eventually put the game beyond doubt when Danny Armstrong came off the bench to fire home and seal a 2-0 win with 10 minutes left.

McInnes’ side have lost just once in their last 12 matches – a run that has seen them rise to fourth in the cinch Premiership table.

“It was a tie we had to overcome and there are plenty of positives, getting boys minutes, the clean sheet and getting into the next round was clearly the most important thing,” he said.

“We get the all important goal just before half-time, the team talk was still the same but in terms of the outcome, I think it knocks the stuffing out of Cove.

“We had better control in the second half, we kept them from our box a lot more, though it still wasn’t without its challenges.”

Kyle Vassell thought he had grabbed a third in added-time when he lifted the
ball over Suman but the referee deemed that the goalkeeper had recovered to scoop the ball off the line.

McInnes claimed: “I think (Kyle) Vassell’s goal is in, their keeper has admitted it.

“We could maybe have had added to the scoreline but I think any additions would have been harsh on Cove as I thought they were good value in the game.”

McInnes feels his squad is in a good place as Kilmarnock continue to impress in both the league and the Scottish Cup.

The Killie boss made six changes from the side that defeated Livingston in midweek, including handing a first start to Kevin van Veen.

There were signs of lethargy in their first half display, though they were much improved after the breaking the deadlock just before the interval.

“There were one or two changes who deserved opportunity through their training,” he added.

“We move on to Celtic now, that’s one defeat in 12, we’re going along nicely.

“We need a few more wins to get top six and the next time the cup comes round, I hope we go into it on the back of some good league form.”

Paul Hartley has urged his Cove players to push on and claim a League One play-off place as they head into the business end of the season.

The Toonsers were more than a match for their Premiership opponents in the first half and should have taken an early lead when Rumarn Burrell had an effort cleared off the line.

Hartley’s side currently occupy third spot in League One, however, only two points separates them and fifth-placed Alloa.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and get on with the league business, our challenge is to get into the play-offs with 13 games remaining,” he said.

“It’s the business end of the season and we want to get into the play-offs, it’s a tight league and it’s tight for a top-four spot.

“We’ve showed what we can do against a quality team that are the fourth best team in Scotland at this moment in time.”

Aberdeen interim manager Neil Warnock admits there is plenty of work to do despite watching his side ease into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Bonnyrigg Rose.

Bojan Miovski’s clinical first-half double was the difference between the sides but, with captain Graeme Shinnie rested after the interval and a number of changes made on the hour mark, the second-half performance was sluggish.

Warnock said: “In the cup games, if you can get a clean sheet and get through, that’s all that matters. I’ve never really had a comfortable cup game whether the underdog or favourite.

“There was a lot of things I was frustrated at but it’s answered a few questions, and I’ve been able to give a few of the lads an opportunity. It’s all part of the process.

“I told Bojan that if he scored a couple of goals in the first half he could come off at half-time, or have a bit longer to get his hat-trick, and he wanted to play a bit longer.

“There were a lot of things I wasn’t happy with today, but I don’t want to be too impatient in a cup game. Some of the things they did today, if they did against Motherwell I would be losing my voice, but I’ll calm down a little bit and address it on the training ground.”

Bonnyrigg boss Robbie Horn was proud of his side’s efforts despite the defeat.

He said: “I thought in the first half we gave away a couple of cheap goals from our point of view.

“Obviously Miovski takes them well, but Smart Osadolor has a great opportunity at 1-0, and to be fair it’s great defending.

“I thought we looked a threat in the first half, and caused them a few issues. When the game got to 2-0 it could have got away from us, but the boys showed fantastic character and real bravery at times.

“To a man the boys were outstanding and I’m extremely proud of their efforts.”

Tete Yengi headed home a dramatic winner in the last minute of extra time as Livingston came back from two goals down to claim a 3-2 victory over Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup fifth round.

The Jags had taken a 2-0 lead through a first-half thunderbolt from Kerr McInroy and Aidan Fitzpatrick’s low near-post finish on the hour mark.

But Joel Nouble tapped home shortly after to pull a goal back for the Premiership strugglers and the striker then grabbed his second, firing home superbly from a tight angle to send the game to extra time.

Livingston had the better of the additional 30 minutes but the match looked to be heading for penalties until Yengi’s flicked header in the dying seconds completed the comeback to send the visitors into the quarter-finals.

Partick manager Kris Doolan made just one change from his side’s draw with Airdrieonians, as Ben Stanway replaced Scott Robinson, while Livingston made three changes, with Michael McGovern, Nouble and Stephen Kelly returning to the side.

It was the first time the two sides had met since 2018, when Livi defeated Thistle in the Premiership play-off final to gain promotion to the top flight.

Brian Graham had the first chance of note in the 10th minute, firing straight at McGovern before Dan Mackay’s shot deflected off Lewis Neilson and flew narrowly wide as the visitors looked to respond.

Neilson was then involved at the other end as the Jags took the lead in emphatic style in the 27th minute.

The centre-back carried the ball forward superbly before laying it off to McInroy, who unleashed a powerful low strike into the bottom right-hand corner from 25 yards.

Livingston lost Scott Pittman and Shaun Donnellan to injury but they thought they had equalised just before half-time as Yengi headed in Kelly’s corner at the near post but referee Nick Walsh had spotted a push.

Livingston had improved significantly after a slow start but they were soon facing an uphill task as Thistle doubled their lead around the hour mark.

Fitzpatrick, who had impressed throughout the match, jinked into the box and fired in a low near-post shot that squirmed beyond McGovern, who perhaps should have done better.

The 2-0 lead did not last long, however, as Livingston pulled a goal back five minutes later.

A deep Kelly corner was met at the far post by Ayo Obileye and although Jamie Sneddon pulled off a brilliant one-handed stop, Nouble was on hand to tap in from a couple of yards out.

Partick were then inches away from making the game safe with 15 minutes remaining as Tomi Adeloye’s shot from the edge of the box came back off the post.

That moment would prove pivotal as the clinical Nouble levelled the match with a brilliant goal minutes after.

After exchanging passes with Andrew Shinnie on the right wing, the striker drove inside before firing in off the woodwork from a tight angle with the outside of his boot to force extra time.

Livingston had the better of the extra-time period and Yengi and Bruce Anderson both forced strong saves from Jamie Sneddon in the second period.

The visitors completed the comeback in the dying seconds as Jamie Brandon crossed for Yengi, who headed in off the far post from six yards to seal the win and send Livingston through to the last eight.

Kilmarnock booked their place in the last eight of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Cove Rangers.

The hosts survived an early scare when Rumarn Burrell’s shot was cleared off the line, before Marley Watkins netted for the second successive game to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time,

Derek McInnes’ side were dominant after the break, though it would take until the 80th minute for the game to be put beyond doubt, Danny Armstrong drilling low beyond goalkeeper Nick Suman.

Kevin van Veen was handed his first start for Killie as McInnes made six changes from the side that defeated Livingston in the cinch Premiership on Wednesday evening.

Corrie Ndaba returned from suspension, while Matty Kennedy, Liam Polworth, Fraser Murray and Rory McKenzie were also handed starting berths.

Michael Doyle and Josh Kerr both returned to the Cove starting line-up, replacing Matthew Shiels and Cameron Stewart from the side that drew 2-2 with Stirling last time out in League One.

Killie had an early penalty shout waved away when Kennedy fell to the ground following good skill from Van Veen.

The visitors came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock after eight minutes, Will Dennis punched Arron Darge’s cross as far as Burrell – who saw his goalbound effort hacked off the line by Murray.

Watkins fired over the bar before dragging a low shot wide as Suman was given a quiet start to the afternoon’s proceedings.

On the rare occasion the lethargic looking Premiership team did threaten it was Van Veen who was their driving force, glancing a header against the top of the crossbar and then stinging the palms of Suman with a drive.

There was little to separate the sides as half-time approached, but the hosts would strike just before the break.

Kennedy’s shot was sent spinning behind for a corner and Ndaba knocked down Polworth’s delivery for Watkins to stab beyond the keeper.

Buoyed by their opener, Killie made the brighter start to the second half and there were chances  for Van Veen, Kennedy and Watkins in the 10 minutes following the restart.

The visitors were finding it difficult to muster much of a threat on goal and Darge blazed high and wide of the target as the game approached its final stages.

The home supporters breathed a sigh of relief as Kerr was let down by a heavy touch after William Gillingham had flicked a low cross into his path.

It was a moment that Rangers would be left to rue when Armstrong blasted home shortly after coming off the bench to double Killie’s advantage with 10 minutes remaining.

Kyle Vassell thought he had grabbed a third in added-time when he lifted the ball over Suman but the referee deemed that the keeper had recovered to scoop the ball off the line.

Hibernian booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup after their superiority showed in the second half as they recorded a 3-1 victory at Inverness.

Myziane Maolida broke the deadlock for Hibernian before Martin Boyle doubled their advantage and Elie Youan scored their third – a minute from time – to ensure the Premiership side are in Sunday’s last-eight draw.

Aaron Doran pulled one back in second-half stoppage-time for the Championship hosts, who rarely threatened to pull off a shock during the match.

Hibernian made three changes from their narrow 2-1 defeat to Celtic on Wednesday as Eliezer Mayenda and Luke Amos made their first starts for the club, with Maolida also brought into the starting line-up. Dylan Levitt, Dylan Vente and Youan were all dropped to the bench for Hibernian.

Inverness made two changes to the team that lost at Queen’s Park last week as Sean McAllister and James Carragher were brought in for injured duo Danny Devine and Alex Samuel.

The hosts went into the match with a poor home record in the league, with only two wins at home in the Championship all season.

Hibernian were gifted a chance to take the lead early on after goalkeeper Mark Ridgers sliced his clearance and the ball fell to Nathan Moriah-Welsh at the edge of the box.

However, a last-ditch tackle from on loan Leeds defender Jeremiah Chilokoa-Mullen prevented him from getting a shot on goal to the relief of the hosts.

Mayenda then had an opportunity midway through the first half when he was unchallenged at the edge of the box and fired a powerful drive, but Ridgers pulled off a great save to keep the game goalless.

Hibernian pressed for the opener just before half-time when Carragher did well to divert Jordan Obita’s cross out for a corner.

The ball then fell to Joe Newell at the edge of the box but he blasted over the crossbar.

The visitors eventually broke the deadlock – 10 minutes in the second half – when Comoros international Maolida, who is on loan from Hertha Berlin, saw his shot take a deflection off Chilokoa-Mullen.

His shot wrong-footed Ridgers, who could only watch helplessly as the ball flew out of reach and into the net.

They almost doubled their advantage minutes later when substitute Levitt fired a powerful low drive from the edge of the box, which forced another great save from Ridgers to keep the deficit at one.

Inverness came close to an equaliser midway through the second half when Max Anderson’s cross found the head of Cammy Kerr, but his header struck the crossbar.

Hibs doubled their advantage with 12 minutes remaining after Morgan Boyes miskicked a clearance, which allowed Boyle to pounce on.

The Australia international then charged towards goal and ran past goalkeeper Ridgers before firing into an empty net.

Hibernian killed the game at the death as Boyle charged down the right wing and played the ball in the box for Youan to slot home a simple tap in.

Doran did pull back a consolation for Caley in injury time as his powerful shot in the box flew past David Marshall, but it was too little too late.

Aberdeen eased their way into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Bonnyrigg Rose as interim manager Neil Warnock made his Pittodrie bow.

Bojan Miovski took his tally to 22 for the season with two smart first-half goals from close range, the first through the goalkeeper’s legs and the second a stunning finish from just outside the six-yard box.

Warnock’s arrival has been met with intrigue, and the home support put on a pre-match display to welcome the 75-year-old for his first home match, with Bonnyrigg perhaps providing less glamorous opposition but also a potential banana skin.

Winning this competition is a stated aim of the Yorkshireman, and he made five changes to the side that had lost to Rangers in midweek, handing a debut to goalkeeper Ross Doohan in place of Kelle Roos, who came in for criticism for his part in the Ibrox defeat.

Doohan was in action early on, having to be alert to claim a deflected Smart Osadolor effort as the visitors tried to make an impression in front of their 859 travelling fans.

Aberdeen quickly settled into their rhythm and took the lead after 17 minutes. Leighton Clarkson stepped onto a loose ball and played in Shayden Morris, who in turn slipped in Miovski to nutmeg goalkeeper Paddy Martin.

The visitors responded and, after Jack Mackenzie coughed up possession on the edge of the area, Osadolor should have levelled, only for Nicky Devlin to get across and clear off the line.

The Dons wasted no time settling their nerves thereafter, with Clarkson whipping a superb cross to Dante Polvara at the back post. He headed down and Miovski struck a sweet half-volley into the top-right corner from eight yards.

The visitors tightened up to avoid the score becoming an embarrassment and they would have been relieved to see Miovski withdrawn at the hour mark, although not before he had forced a smart save from Martin.

There were a number of substitutions as Warnock got a look at as many of his squad as possible, but they still had to be wary of their League Two visitors, who forced a save from Doohan through Ross Gray after 65 minutes.

For the most part, though, Aberdeen were comfortable against a stoic Rose outfit as they moved into the next round.

Morton manager Dougie Imrie told Motherwell fans to take what they dish out after he celebrated his side’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup win in front of the visiting fans at Cappielow.

The former Hamilton player had to put up with some abusive songs about members of his family during the fifth-round tie but he got the last laugh after his side’s 2-1 win.

Imrie cupped his ears and waved his arms towards what remained of more than 2,000 visiting fans and savoured their angry reaction before moving towards his own supporters and being chased down by the fourth official.

The 40-year-old said: “Listen, I am thicker-skinned than that but if they want to give it out, they have got to take it.

“It’s not nice (hearing that), but that’s part and parcel of football. If they think that’s going to bother me, then they better get something else to sing about.”

Morton were well worth their win after putting Motherwell under pressure from the off. George Oakley hit the bar before Robbie Muirhead’s inswinging corner had Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly scrambling, with the ball appearing to go in off his team-mate Harry Paton after he palmed it out.

Oakley drilled home the second after the break and Motherwell’s comeback attempts were too little, too late with no chances coming after Jack Vale’s deflected 85th-minute effort.

Imrie said: “From start to finish we were very, very good, albeit the last 10 minutes was a bit nervy with them getting their goal because we didn’t track the run into the box. But in the main we were well worthy of the victory.”

The remaining Motherwell fans also vented their anger towards their own players and manager Stuart Kettlewell, whose side failed to build on Tuesday’s 5-0 win over Ross County as their six-match unbeaten run came to an end.

“We simply weren’t good enough,” Kettlewell said. “Very simply Morton did a number on us. We didn’t stand up to the challenges we knew were going to be presented.

“We knew it was going to be completely different to Tuesday when we were able to get the ball down and play. We knew Morton were going to be up and at us, and be in our faces, they were going to pile balls in on us.

“The first goal’s symptomatic of us not dealing with that. It comes in and we just don’t deal with it.

“Second half we became really ragged and it was only in the last 10 minutes of the game we started to test their resolve and make a bit more of a tie of it.

“But I expect way more from the players. When you see that travelling support I expect way more than that. Morton deserved to win.

“Our use of the ball, our choices and our quality has to be a hell of a lot better.”

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