Raith Rovers 0 - 2 Hibs: Hibs through in Scottish Cup

Hibs' Liam Henderson and Rover's David Bates. Picture: Jane Barlow
Hibs' Liam Henderson and Rover's David Bates. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Two goals in three second half minutes from Darren McGregor and Dominique Malonga earned Hibs a Scottish Cup victory against Raith Rovers.

The Easter Road side had been decidedly second best for much of the first half but Raith were unable to make their superior possession count before McGregor, with his first goal for Hibs, fired them ahead.

Hibs' Dylan McGeouch and Rover's Benedictus. Picture: Jane Barlow

Hibs' Dylan McGeouch and Rover's Benedictus. Picture: Jane Barlow

McGregor’s strike was Hibs 1000th in the Scottish Cup and three minutes later Malonga dispatched a super right foot rocket into the top corner of the net to ensure Hibs place in Monday night’s fifth round draw at Hampden.

Hibs January signings Niklas Gunnarsson and Chris Dagnall were given instant debuts by Alan Stubbs as the Easter Road line-up showed three changes to the side which narrowly defeated Raith in the Championship seven days ago.

Gunnarsson came in for injured skipper David Gray at right back and Dagnall replaced Jason Cummings, the scorer in all three games against Rovers this season being ill, while James Keatings was favoured over Liam Henderson.

The on-loan Celtic midfielder was joined on the bench by teenage goalkeeper Sean Brennan at the expense of Antonio Reguero while Oli Shaw was also named among the substitutes as was Jordon Forster, the subject of speculation that he may be leaving Easter Road on loan in the near future.

Hibs survived a massive scare in the 14th minute when Raith midfielder James Craigen sent in an inviting cross from the left, tempting Marvin Bartley to slide in an attempt to clear it at the near post but managing onloy to send the ball towards the bottom right hand corner of Mark Oxley’s net.

The home fans began to rise from their seats believing they’d been the beneficiaries of an own goal but goalkeeper Oxley was alert, diving low to grab the ball before it crossed the line.

Hibs struggled in the opening 30 minutes to get into their stride, Raith enjoying the bulk of possession without carrying any further threat until Craigen fired over a cross from the right which was met by Rory McKeown coming in from the opposite flank, his effort soaring high over the bar.

It took the Capital club until the 37th minute to test the nerve of the home fans, Gunnarsson rising to nod John McGinn’s corner - Hibs first of the game - back across goal where Liam Fontaine wheeled to hammer a shot high over.

And another 16 minutes were on the clock before Hibs tested Raith goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert who safely held Paul Hanlon’s powerful shot.

But Cuthbert had to be at his brilliant best to tip over a ferocious drive from Dagnall onlyk to be beaten in the 61st minute. Raith defender Kyle Benedictus took a fresh air shot at a Lewis Stevenson cross, the ball fallling for McGregor, who had replaced Gunnarsson only seven minutes earlier, the defender steadying himself before drilling in a low shot which zipped under the goalkeeper.

Three minutes later Hibs were two ahead, Malonga taking a passs from Stevenson and, with hardly any backlift he dispatched a fantastic right-foot shot high into the corner of Cuthbert’s net.

Raith Rovers: Cuthbert, Bates, Davidson, Benedictus, McKeown, Matthews (Anderson 65), Callachan, Robertson, Craigen, Megginson, (McCord 79) Daly.

Substitutes not used: Law, Petrie, Court, Ford, Ellis.

Hibs: Oxley, Gunnarsson (McGregor 54), Hanlon, Fontaine, Stevenson, Bartley (Henderson 59), McGeouch, McGinn, Keatings, Dagnall, Malonga (Boyle 84).

Substitutes not used: Brennan, Forster, Shaw, Anier.

Referee: Willie Collumt

Attendance: 5203