Saints to face Saints, Accies win

Jack Wilshere felt Arsenal answered some of their critics with a

5-2 demolition of Reading at the Madejski stadium.

Arsene Wenger and his team had come under intense scrutiny

following their ignominious Capital One defeat at Bradford last

week, but they re-discovered some of their free-flowing spirit in a

morale-boosting performance.

“It was tough last week after the disappointing result at

Bradford. We had to be strong as they are a tough team who are

fighting relegation,” said Wilshere.

“Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla were different class.

“Any sort of victory tonight would have been welcomed. The boss

put three up front and it worked.

“The club is very strong. The way we played, I think we saw some

of the old Arsenal tonight. We needed to bounce back and we must

push on now. We have got a difficult game at Wigan coming up

now.

Walcott played through the middle and was rewarded for an

enterprising display with a goal, although that was overshadowed by

a sublime hat-trick from the peerless Cazorla.

Walcott said: “We don’t really take notice of the outside. We’re

a big family and we know our quality and that we’re good

enough.

“I enjoyed playing up front and the boss gave me that

opportunity. I thought I did very well and the players around me

always make my job easier.”

As to his protracted contract talks, Walcott added: “Talks are

ongoing and it’s going to be a slow process. It’s taking a long

time but hopefully something will happen soon.”

Wilshere is especially eager to hasten the process, and joked:

“I’ve been working all year on him.

“But that’s between Theo, his representatives and the boss but

hopefully we can sign him up.

“He showed he can do it up front and hopefully he can play there

in the future.”

The First Division side held Steve Lomas’ men at bay for 45

minutes but the Perth outfit slowly eroded their hosts’ resolve

after the break.

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

and the Blue Brazil soon contrived to offer the SPL side a second

goal.

Steven MacLean obliged from the penalty spot when Thomas Flynn

fouled Murray Davidson in the 76th minute, before Gregory Tade

ensured the Saints’ safe passage to Paisley with a close-range

finish three minutes from time.

Hamilton will play Dunfermline in the last 16 after overcoming

fellow First Division outfit Dumbarton 3-1 at the Bet Butler

Stadium.

Alister Crawford put the visitors ahead with a stunning effort

in the 24th minute, before Michael Devlin doubled Hamilton’s

advantage four minutes before the break.

Dumbarton’s players rallied after the interval, though, setting

up Chris Turner to head home from close range in the 57th minute,

but Accies substitute Grant Gillespie struck from deep inside the

penalty area with 75 minutes on the clock.

The Sons’ chances of success suffered a further setback when

Turner saw red three minutes later and Hamilton progressed to the

next round.

Peter Weatherson scored a hat-trick as Morton earned a trip to

Dundee with a resounding 6-0 win over Highland Football League

hopefuls Turriff United.

It took 37 minutes for Morton to open the scoring through

Weatherson but the First Division outfit would not look back.

Michael Tidser registered his first goal from the penalty spot

in first-half stoppage time following Ross Anderson’s foul, adding

a second from long range in the 63rd minute.

Morton were out of sight when substitute Peter MacDonald found

the back of the net in the 77th minute, Weatherson quickly laying

claim to the matchball with two goals in the last 10 minutes.