St Johnstone earned the right to face St Mirren away in the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a deserved win at Cowdenbeath.

After a goalless first half, the Perth outfit slowly eroded the First Division hosts' resolve after the break.

David McCracken stole in to open the scoring in the 54th minute.

Steven MacLean scored a penalty when Thomas Flynn fouled Murray Davidson, before Gregory Tade sealed the win from close-range three minutes from time.

Cowdenbeath's Central Park was able to host the tie at the fifth time of asking, and the First Division side can be proud of a competitive performance, even if they were ultimately undone by the superiority of the visitors.

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas opted to shake things up from the 2-2 draw with Hearts at the weekend, with five changes to his starting line-up.

Weary legs were of greater concern to Cowdenbeath player-manager Colin Cameron.

The former Scottish international omitted himself from the starting line-up after featuring in his side's 2-0 defeat at Falkirk on Saturday, their first game in three weeks.

No clear-cut chances were forthcoming in the opening 30 minutes - and it was the hosts who came closest to opening the scoring.

Slack play in the centre led to a Cowdenbeath break with Mark McKenzie being given sufficient time to whip in a deep cross from the left. Lewis Coult's cushioned header found Dean Brett but the attacker's drilled shot went past the far post.

With the hosts finding their feet the game opened up and Liam Craig was granted too much space in a central area where he cracked the post from 20 yards.

At the other end McKenzie went close with a low shot which evaded the far post before Lewis Milne led a counter-attack that ended with a powerful drive from 25 yards that Alan Mannus did well to tip over the crossbar.

The visitors finally found their route to goal nine minutes after the restart.

Cowdenbeath failed to deal with a set-piece and were lucky to clear for a corner. Flynn pulled off an outstanding save to deny Steven Anderson, but the ball was knocked out to McCracken who drilled the ball through a ruck of bodies and into the net.

The following 10 minutes saw St Johnstone waste two great chances to settle the tie.

Hasselbaink's low drive from 15 yards was blocked by his own team-mate, a wandering Tade, then Anderson headed over from almost underneath the opposition crossbar.

It was through the aid of the referee's whistle that St Johnstone saw their passage assured.

Flynn was adjudged to have brought down Murray Davidson after the midfielder had raced onto Craig Beattie's pass and attempted to round the keeper - and MacLean despatched the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.

Tade rounded off the win three minutes from time when he broke the offside trap, rounded Flynn and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Cowdenbeath: Flynn, Cowan, Armstrong, Mbu (Cameron 64), Adamson, McKenzie, O'Brien, Milne, Brett, Miller (Navas 72), Coult (Thomas 80). Subs Not Used: Wight, Pyper.

Booked: Cameron, Flynn.

St Johnstone: Mannus, MacKay, McCracken, Anderson, Scobbie, Millar (Cregg 84), Murray Davidson, Craig, Hasselbaink (Beattie 69), MacLean (Caddis 78), Tade. Subs Not Used: Tuffey, Rodger.

Booked: Scobbie.

Goals: McCracken 54, MacLean 76 pen, Tade 87.

Att: 809

Ref: John Beaton

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Cowdenbeath

  • 01 Flynn Booked
  • 02 Cowan
  • 03 Adamson
  • 05 Armstrong
  • 06 Mbu (Cameron - 64' Booked )
  • 04 O'Brien
  • 07 McKenzie
  • 08 Miller (Navas - 72' )
  • 09 Milne
  • 11 Brett
  • 10 Coult (Thomas - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 18 Wight
  • 12 Piper
  • 15 Navas
  • 16 Cameron
  • 14 Thomas

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 02 MacKay
  • 06 Anderson
  • 18 McCracken
  • 33 Scobbie Booked
  • 07 Millar (Cregg - 84' )
  • 08 Davidson
  • 10 Craig
  • 09 Tade
  • 11 Hasselbaink (Beattie - 69' )
  • 17 MacLean (Caddis - 78' )

Substitutes

  • 15 Tuffey
  • 26 Caddis
  • 43 Rodger
  • 04 Cregg
  • 16 Beattie
Ref: Beaton
Att: 809

Match Stats

Shots

7 17

On target

4 9

Corners

2 8

Fouls

10 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:13 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

88:59

Unfair challenge on Pablo Navas by Thomas Scobbie results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Kenneth Adamson, save made by Alan Mannus.

87:28

Lewis Milne takes a shot. Save by Alan Mannus. Corner taken right-footed by Lewis Milne, clearance by Gregory Tade.

86:28

Assist on the goal came from Thomas Scobbie.

86:28 Goal scored

Goal! - Gregory Tade - Cowdenb'th 0 - 3 St J'stone Gregory Tade grabs a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Cowdenbeath 0-3 St Johnstone.

85:30

Foul by Liam Craig on David Cowan, free kick awarded. Lewis Milne takes the free kick.

83:57 Substitution

Substitution Patrick Cregg comes on in place of Chris Millar.

83:37

Kenneth Adamson takes a shot. Alan Mannus makes a save.

82:31

Shot from just outside the box by Craig Beattie goes over the bar.

82:12

Murray Davidson concedes a free kick for a foul on Thomas O'Brien. Thomas O'Brien restarts play with the free kick.

80:37

Free kick awarded for a foul by Murray Davidson on Colin Cameron. Colin Cameron takes the direct free kick.

79:37

David McCracken takes the free kick.

79:37 Substitution

Substitution Zephaniah Thomas comes on in place of Lewis Coult.

79:37

Foul by Kenneth Adamson on Liam Caddis, free kick awarded.

77:20 Substitution

Substitution Steven MacLean leaves the field to be replaced by Liam Caddis.

75:58

The assist for the goal came from Murray Davidson.

75:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Steven MacLean - Cowdenb'th 0 - 2 St J'stone Penalty taken right-footed by Steven MacLean and scored. Cowdenbeath 0-2 St Johnstone.

75:37 Booking

Booking Caution for Thomas Flynn.

75:09

Penalty awarded for a foul by Thomas Flynn on Murray Davidson.

74:34

Effort on goal by Steven MacLean from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.

74:07

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Thomas Flynn.

73:37

Steven Anderson takes the free kick.

73:37 Booking

Booking Booking for Colin Cameron.

73:18

Unfair challenge on Thomas Scobbie by Colin Cameron results in a free kick.

71:50 Substitution

Substitution Pablo Navas joins the action as a substitute, replacing Kyle Miller.

68:12 Substitution

Substitution Craig Beattie replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

66:14

The offside flag is raised against Nigel Hasselbaink. Thomas Flynn takes the free kick.

65:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gregory Tade by Thomas O'Brien. Liam Craig crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, clearance by John Armstrong.

64:25

Marc McKenzie produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

63:41 Substitution

Substitution Colin Cameron joins the action as a substitute, replacing Joseph Mbu.

61:41

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig from the right by-line, Strike by Steven Anderson from inside the six-yard box clear the bar.

58:50

Unfair challenge on Thomas O'Brien by Steven MacLean results in a free kick. Thomas Flynn takes the direct free kick.

56:11

Nigel Hasselbaink takes a shot. Fantastic save by Thomas Flynn. The assistant referee signals for offside against Gregory Tade. Free kick taken by Thomas Flynn.

53:32

Steven Anderson provided the assist for the goal.

53:32 Goal scored

Goal! - David McCracken - Cowdenb'th 0 - 1 St J'stone Goal scored by David McCracken from close in low into the middle of the goal. Cowdenbeath 0-1 St Johnstone.

52:29

Liam Craig produces a cross, Steven Anderson takes a shot. Thomas Flynn makes a save.

51:59

Inswinging corner taken by Liam Craig from the right by-line.

49:49

The assistant referee flags for offside against Nigel Hasselbaink. Thomas Flynn restarts play with the free kick.

48:48

Effort from deep inside the area by Gregory Tade misses to the right of the goal.

47:43

Kenneth Adamson takes the direct free kick.

47:43 Booking

Booking Thomas Scobbie goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

46:49

Unfair challenge on Gregory Tade by Joseph Mbu results in a free kick. Liam Craig crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Thomas O'Brien. Unfair challenge on Marc McKenzie by Thomas Scobbie results in a free kick.

45:55

Unfair challenge on Lewis Coult by David McCracken results in a free kick. Lewis Milne crosses the ball in from the free kick, Steven MacLean manages to make a clearance.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +0:07 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

43:48

Nigel Hasselbaink takes a shot. Save by Thomas Flynn.

42:36

Nigel Hasselbaink takes a shot. Blocked by Kenneth Adamson. Corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig, Header from deep inside the area by Murray Davidson goes over the bar.

41:48

Murray Davidson takes a shot. Save made by Thomas Flynn. Inswinging corner taken by Liam Craig from the right by-line, save by Thomas Flynn.

40:53

The offside flag is raised against Steven MacLean. Indirect free kick taken by Thomas Flynn.

40:01

Effort on goal by Thomas O'Brien from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

39:36

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Lewis Milne, clearance by Murray Davidson.

39:20

Lewis Milne takes a shot. Save made by Alan Mannus.

38:38

Kyle Miller takes a shot from 18 yards. Comfortable save by Alan Mannus.

37:32

Gregory Tade concedes a free kick for a foul on Thomas Flynn. Thomas Flynn takes the free kick.

36:52

Corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig, John Armstrong makes a clearance.

36:35

Liam Craig produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that bounces off the post.

34:59

Gregory Tade is caught offside. John Armstrong restarts play with the free kick.

33:25

Nigel Hasselbaink fouled by Thomas O'Brien, the ref awards a free kick. Thomas Scobbie takes the direct free kick.

30:42

Dean Brett produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.

26:56

Chris Millar takes a shot. Save made by Thomas Flynn.

25:48

Marc McKenzie is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.

25:12

Thomas Scobbie produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.

21:32

Shot by Murray Davidson from just outside the area goes over the net.

20:49

Thomas O'Brien gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Murray Davidson. Liam Craig takes the direct free kick.

18:52

Steven MacLean takes a short corner.

17:22

Foul by Nigel Hasselbaink on Joseph Mbu, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Thomas Flynn.

12:21

The assistant referee signals for offside against Nigel Hasselbaink. Thomas Flynn takes the free kick.

10:11

The referee blows for offside. David McCracken takes the free kick.

9:56

The referee blows for offside against Gregory Tade. Free kick taken by David Cowan.

8:45

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lewis Milne by Thomas Scobbie. David Cowan takes the free kick.

6:57

Chris Millar fouled by Lewis Milne, the ref awards a free kick. David MacKay shoots direct from the free kick, save by Thomas Flynn. Corner from the right by-line taken by Liam Craig, John Armstrong makes a clearance.

5:54

Foul by Lewis Coult on Murray Davidson, free kick awarded. David McCracken takes the free kick.

4:58

The offside flag is raised against Nigel Hasselbaink. Thomas Flynn restarts play with the free kick.

3:35

Lewis Milne gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Millar. Direct free kick taken by Alan Mannus.

0:45

Gregory Tade is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Thomas Flynn takes the indirect free kick.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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