Celtic eventually overcame some stodgy Raith Rovers defending and a churned-up pitch to book a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

A Charlie Mulgrew corner which clipped the post was the closest to a goal in a first-half starved of chances.

However, Kris Commons won and converted a penalty early in the second-half to break the deadlock.

And late goals from James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew sealed the win for the Scottish Premier League side.

The Celtic defence looked nervous early on, with some edgy passing from Kelvin Wilson, but it was the visitors who created the first opportunity, as Mulgrew's deep corner was headed over by Victor Wanyama.

As the game moved out of its initial phase, Celtic were camped outside the Raith box but, perhaps in part because of a heavy, bumpy pitch, Neil Lennon's side could not create a clear shooting opportunity.

Raith finally mounted a purposeful counter-attack on the half-hour mark, but Brian Graham's header was weak and easily collected by goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska.

Shortly after, Celtic were the width of the woodwork from scoring as Mulgrew's corner went through a clutch of players and deflected clear off the back post.

Graham could have caused a shock had he connected with a cross from the right at the started of the second half and Celtic responded with an Adam Matthews shot fizzing over the bar.

The second period was being played in a much more adventurous fashion and Tony Watt went close with a header that slipped just wide.

Graham forced an uncomfortable save from Zaluska with a 25-yard free-kick which dipped awkwardly in front of the Polish keeper.

But the visitors were handed a chance to break the deadlock when Commons went down under a Simon Mensing challenge just inside the box.

The Scotland international took the penalty himself and lashed the ball low to McGurn's left and into the corner of the net.

The goal sparked Raith into life and Pat Clarke passed up a chance to instantly level when he hooked a volley well over from a Jason Thomson cross.

Scott Brown should have doubled the visitors' lead when Gary Hooper's driven effort was parried into his path only six yards out, the Celtic captain blazing wide.

But fellow substitute Forrest settled any nerves Celtic might have had, going on a run down the inside-right channel and slotting the ball past McGurn.

Mulgrew piled on the misery for Raith late on with a delightful chip form the edge of the box which curled into the top corner.

Greig Spence's drive in the final moments flew wide and any hopes of a consolation for the Fifers were gone.

Follow Stevie Miller on Twitter. 

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Raith Rovers

  • 01 McGurn
  • 02 Thomson Booked
  • 03 Malowne
  • 04 Mensing
  • 05 Ellis
  • 06 Anderson (Spence - 74' )
  • 07 Smith (Anderson - 65' )
  • 08 Walker
  • 11 Hamill (Callachan - 90' )
  • 09 Graham
  • 10 Clarke

Substitutes

  • 17 Laidlaw
  • 16 Donaldson
  • 14 Anderson
  • 15 Callachan
  • 12 Spence

Celtic

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 02 Matthews
  • 06 Wilson
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 23 Lustig
  • 15 Commons (Stokes - 75' )
  • 16 Ledley
  • 33 Kayal (Brown - 60' )
  • 67 Wanyama Booked
  • 32 Watt (Forrest - 60' )
  • 88 Hooper

Substitutes

  • 35 Fasan
  • 08 Brown
  • 49 Forrest
  • 10 Stokes
  • 11 Nouioui
Ref: Mclean
Att: 7,144

Match Stats

Shots

9 15

On target

6 9

Corners

1 5

Fouls

11 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:11 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +1:30

Adam Matthews gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Grant Anderson. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Edward Malone from left wing, clearance made by Charlie Mulgrew.

90:00 +0:19

Shot from 25 yards by Anthony Stokes. Clearance made by Simon Mensing.

89:04

David McGurn takes the free kick.

89:04 Substitution

Substitution Joseph Hamill goes off and Ross Callachan comes on.

89:04

Inswinging corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, Allan Walker manages to make a clearance. Foul by Mikael Lustig on Allan Walker, free kick awarded.

88:50

Effort from 20 yards by Adam Matthews. Grant Anderson gets a block in.

87:39

Joe Ledley concedes a free kick for a foul on Brian Graham. Free kick crossed by Joseph Hamill.

87:00

Greig Spence produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.

85:20

Joe Ledley provided the assist for the goal.

85:20 Goal scored

Goal! - Charlie Mulgrew - Raith 0 - 3 Celtic Charlie Mulgrew gets on the score sheet with a brilliant goal from just outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Raith 0-3 Celtic.

84:46

Unfair challenge on Victor Wanyama by Patrick Clarke results in a free kick. Mikael Lustig restarts play with the free kick.

84:09

Grant Anderson takes a shot. Save by Lukasz Zaluska.

83:36

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikael Lustig on Brian Graham. Joseph Hamill takes the direct free kick.

82:05

Assist by Gary Hooper.

82:05 Goal scored

Goal! - James Forrest - Raith 0 - 2 Celtic James Forrest finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Raith 0-2 Celtic.

79:58

Shot by Allan Walker. Charlie Mulgrew gets a block in.

76:51

Patrick Clarke fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

76:51 Booking

Booking The referee shows Victor Wanyama a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

76:44

Patrick Clarke fouled by Victor Wanyama, the ref awards a free kick.

75:35

Gary Hooper challenges Edward Malone unfairly and gives away a free kick. Allan Walker crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Lukasz Zaluska.

74:53 Substitution

Substitution Kris Commons leaves the field to be replaced by Anthony Stokes.

73:33 Substitution

Substitution Stuart Anderson goes off and Greig Spence comes on.

70:43

Kris Commons challenges David McGurn unfairly and gives away a free kick. David McGurn takes the free kick.

70:04

Shot by Joe Ledley. Patrick Clarke gets a block in.

67:53

Gary Hooper takes a shot. Save made by David McGurn. Effort from inside the area by Scott Brown misses to the right of the goal.

67:16

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kris Commons by Grant Anderson. Kris Commons takes the free kick.

64:52 Substitution

Substitution Grant Anderson is brought on as a substitute for David Smith.

64:23

Shot from 12 yards from Kris Commons. Save by David McGurn.

63:28

Free kick awarded for a foul by Brian Graham on Scott Brown. Direct free kick taken by Mikael Lustig.

62:13

Mikael Lustig concedes a free kick for a foul on Brian Graham. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Edward Malone.

60:59

Brian Graham challenges Charlie Mulgrew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

58:54

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley by Allan Walker. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.

58:28

Stuart Anderson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Mikael Lustig.

57:53

Corner from the left by-line taken by Allan Walker, clearance made by Victor Wanyama.

57:14

Jason Thomson sends in a cross, Patrick Clarke produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.

55:37 Goal scored

Goal! - Kris Commons - Raith 0 - 1 Celtic Power penalty scored by Kris Commons. Raith 0-1 Celtic.

54:37 Substitution

Substitution Tony Watt leaves the field to be replaced by James Forrest.

54:37 Substitution

Substitution Beram Kayal leaves the field to be replaced by Scott Brown.

54:37 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Jason Thomson for dissent.

54:37

Simon Mensing challenges Kris Commons unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

53:20

Stuart Anderson concedes a free kick for a foul on Charlie Mulgrew. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.

52:13

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Edward Malone by Beram Kayal. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Brian Graham, save by Lukasz Zaluska.

49:23

Adam Matthews delivers the ball, Headed effort from close range by Tony Watt goes wide left of the target.

46:37

Shot from just outside the box by Adam Matthews goes over the bar.

45:37

A cross is delivered by Allan Walker, Brian Graham produces a mishit right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

44:42

Charlie Mulgrew produces a cross, save made by David McGurn.

41:36

Joseph Hamill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kris Commons. Free kick taken by Kris Commons.

39:21

Patrick Clarke challenges Victor Wanyama unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mikael Lustig takes the free kick.

37:57

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Charlie Mulgrew. Shot from 25 yards by Adam Matthews. Save made by David McGurn.

36:49

The assistant referee flags for offside against Joe Ledley. David McGurn takes the direct free kick.

34:29

Corner from right by-line taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

34:16

Kris Commons delivers the ball, clearance made by Edward Malone.

32:31

Gary Hooper concedes a free kick for a foul on David Smith. David McGurn takes the free kick.

30:20

Brian Graham takes a shot. Save by Lukasz Zaluska.

29:38

Joe Ledley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Allan Walker. Simon Mensing restarts play with the free kick.

28:39

The referee blows for offside. David McGurn takes the indirect free kick.

28:20

Charlie Mulgrew crosses the ball, clearance by Edward Malone.

26:16

Brian Graham fouled by Beram Kayal, the ref awards a free kick. Edward Malone takes the free kick.

24:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley by Jason Thomson. Charlie Mulgrew restarts play with the free kick.

23:10

The ball is swung over by Joe Ledley, save by David McGurn.

21:03

Shot from 20 yards by Victor Wanyama. Save by David McGurn.

19:29

Adam Matthews crosses the ball, Laurence Ellis manages to make a clearance.

17:51

Kris Commons is ruled offside. Free kick taken by David McGurn.

13:52

Charlie Mulgrew takes a shot. David McGurn makes a save.

10:21

Kris Commons produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.

8:49

Inswinging corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, Allan Walker manages to make a clearance.

8:06

Jason Thomson challenges Gary Hooper unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

7:36

Free kick awarded for a foul by Beram Kayal on Edward Malone. Edward Malone takes the free kick.

6:08

A cross is delivered by Tony Watt, David McGurn makes a save.

2:15

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kris Commons, Victor Wanyama produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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