Tollcross Thistle cruised into the next round of the Scottish Amateur Cup with a 4-0 victory over Auchtermuchty Bellvue at Saughton.
Goals from Jason Bell and Jack Norman sandwiched a sumptuous brace from Chris Cairns in a game where the hosts could have easily added more to their goal tally.
Tollcross looked the sharper side after the opening ten minutes as they zipped the ball around midfield with enterprising runs being made down the wings.
The Fife side were frustrated by the speed of play as the hosts were able to repeatedly draw fouls from them during periods of attacking pressure.
The deadlock was broken near the half hour mark as Tollcross had the Fifers pinned in their box. An attempted clearance bounced out to Bell favourably and he was able to smash it home on the half-volley.
The home side doubled their lead barely a minute later when the ball found its way through to Cairns with only the keeper to beat, duly converting his first of the day.
The boisterous travelling contingent from Fife were enraged when the referee waved away claims for a penalty for an apparent infraction in the box during one of the visitors’ foray forwards.
Stewart Crozier made a fantastic double block against Scott Robertson in the box where he looked favourite to reduce the arrears. Flett was on hand to clear the danger during a hairy moment which saw keeper, Rees Allan, commit himself leaving an opportunity for the Fifers to score.
Stefan Hay was unfortunate not to add a third for Tollcross as he was caught offside when let loose to go through on the goalkeeper.
Jack Norman’s presence was more prominent for the hosts in the second half as he looked to carve open the Auchtermuchty defence and create a host of chances, coming close to scoring from shortly after the restart.
Cairns made it 3-0 on 58 minutes when he latched on to a high bouncing ball from the back, guiding it over the head of the onrushing keeper who was left helpless.
He came agonisingly close to getting his hat-trick as his effort from inside the box dragged just wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.
The fourth goal which came in the 65th minute was the pick of the bunch. It came via a fantastic piece of passing football which started in the Tollcross half, and ended with a simple ball into the box which Norman merely needed to tap home. The pace of the last 25 minutes of the match was largely dictated by the hosts who opted to slow the game down, inviting the hosts who went in search of a consolation, before counter after counter was instigated by Norman’s lightning pace.
Nicholas Coull and Sean McGrouther were unfortunate not to add their names to the scoresheet but by this point it hardly mattered as Tollcross had already written their name into the third-round draw.
Tollcross: Allan, Bell, Cairns, Coull, Crozier, Flett, Hay, Hornig, Jardine, McGrouther, Milne, Mossman, Nisbet, Norman, O’Neil, Rathmore, Reid.
Auchtermuchty: M Robertson, Boylan, Calley, Christie, Cruikshank, Dunsmore, Fraser, Hastie, Honeyman, Kane, Kelly, Lindsay, MacLean-Linton, O’Leary, Ramsay, S Robertson, Wardrope.