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Saturday 21 October 2017

Hibs closer in bid to end 114 year trophy drought

Hibernian eased themselves into the Scottish Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 4-0 victory over League Two strugglers Berwick Rangers.

First-half goals from Jason Cummings and Lewis Stevenson were doubled by substitute Sam Stanton and defender Liam Fontaine after the break to send the Easter Road side to Hampden next month.

Any other result would have represented one of the biggest shocks in a competition the capital outfit have infamously not won since 1902, but there was to be no upset from the part-timers.

Berwick actually carved out the first half-chance of the match, with just three minutes gone. Paul Willis curled in a dangerous cross from the left but the header from former Hibs youngster David Gold finished well wide.

The Easter Road side suffered the loss of an early goal against Arbroath in the previous round but responded well and, in the next five minutes, saw Dominique Malonga's drive deflected over, a Scott Robertson shot trundle just wide and Dylan McGeouch's effort held at the second attempt by Berwick keeper Billy Bald. But the goal Hibs craved finally came in the 26th minute.

Stevenson picked out a superb through ball from his left-back beat that Cummings was on to in a flash and the youngster managed to wrap his foot round to score from a tight angle.

And two minutes later the Championship side had doubled their advantage with a wonderful solo effort from Stevenson.

After the break, within a minute of being introduced for the out-of-sorts Allan in the 65th minute, Stanton put Hibs on easy street for their third.

A Cummings free-kick brought out a diving save from Bald seven minutes later and substitute Liam Craig watched a net-bound drive tipped away for a corner by the Berwick keeper with 10 minutes remaining. From the resulting set-piece, Stanton's flag-kick was rocketed into the net by the in-rushing Fontaine to allow the Hibs supporters to dream of finally ending their 113-year curse in the competition.

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