As expected Lasley failed to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered at the weekend and Saunders started. Hateley moved to midfield and we set out in the familiar shape. The best football form both teams came in the first fifteen minutes.
Goodwillie came close to scoring in the second minute when his six yard shot tested Randolph but thereafter we ran the show. We had some lovely flowing play that had the crowd cheering. One move saw Humphrey charging down the left wing before a right tun had him across the edge of their eighteen yard line, defenders unable to halt his progress. He played a one-two with Gow before laying the ball off to Murphy but his cross/shot was just missed by Blackman.
A fine night at Fir Park
Murphy crumpled under a heavy challenge and hobbled off. Despite an attempt to run through the pain he had to be substituted. Sutton was the obvious replacement.
That change seemed to unsettle us and it became evident that without both Lasley and Murphy much of our attacking threat ha gone. Both teams fought hard to regain possession and players had little time to get the ball under control. As a result the ball was in the air more than on the grass and the quality of the game suffered.
Humphrey produced his best cross of the game two minutes into the second half. He sprinted to the by-line at the Cooper end and delivered a tempting flight. Unfortunately Gow had advanced a yard too far and he was unable to get a solid contact. Blackman showed time and again excellent shielding and control. Gow struggled to find any rhythm but his luck was to change.
The game had turned into a midfield tussle and few goalmouth incidents resulted. The game looked certain to go to an extra half hour when we got the break that won us the tie. Hateley delivered a low corner to the near post and Buaben failed to clear. It hit the post and fell to Gow and he found the net.
The game was won with only four minutes remaining. Forbes and Page were fielded with Jennings and Gow making way as we shut up shop.
Craig Brown can now take us to the semi-final at the beginning of February. The draw takes place in Hampden on Friday at 2.30pm.