Doidge, Boyle & Nisbet send Hibs into last eight

Kevin Nisbet’s deflected free-kick just after the hour doubled the visitors’ advantage

Hibernian progressed to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals for the sixth time in seven seasons after a four-goal victory at fourth-tier Stranraer.

Christian Doidge slammed home the opener late in the first half after a large spell of domination.

The League 2 hosts had their moments in a more even second period.

But a Kevin Nisbet free-kick and a Martin Boyle brace – one from the spot – ended Stranraer’s hopes of setting up a last-eight tie with Motherwell.

Instead, Jack Ross’ side will host their top-flight rivals next weekend with a semi-final place at stake.

The fourth-tier hosts made a promising start, winning a couple of dangerous set-pieces and pressing the Hibs backline early on.

But it was Hibs who the clearest opportunities in the opening exchanges, as Josh Doig’s driven ball across goal was narrowly missed by the boot of Nisbet before the Scotland striker headed over from a Boyle cross.

In truth, Nisbet could have had a hat-trick within the first 25 minutes. Great work from Boyle again found him with a low ball, but the striker miscued his attempt to steer his finish goalward from close range.

Hibs continued to bombard the Stranraer backline with waves of attack, as Boyle turned provider again with a cushioned volley into the path of Paul McGinn, who forced Greg Fleming into a fine stop down to his right.

From the resulting corner, Hibs got their reward for a period relentless pressure as the ball eventually landed for Doidge, who swivelled and slammed in a fine finish.

It could have been more for Hibs before the break, as Joe Newell’s inch-perfect delivery from a deep free-kick found the head of Ryan Porteous, who was denied by another superb stop by Fleming.

Ross sent his side out with the same intent in the second half as Doidge failed to direct a header on target and Kyle Magennis had a close-range first-time finish saved by the feet of Fleming.

While Hibs failed to increase their advantage, it gave the fourth-tier side hope. That hope almost turned into elation when Jamie Hamill’s free-kick clipped Doig before dropping just past, then Thomas Orr had a goal-bound effort blocked by team-mate Darryl Duffy.

But just after the hour, Stranraer’s chances faltered when Nisbet’s 25-yard free-kick benefited from a wicked deflection to wrong foot Fleming.

The visitors then added to their advantage when Doidge’s cross was headed against the far post by Nisbet but Boyle was on hand to lash in the goal his performance deserved.

And the Australia international added a fourth from the spot when Doidge’s header off the bar led to Porteous being clipped by Scott Robertson.

The hosts had a couple of late opportunities to grab a consolation, as James Hilton and Matty Yates tried their luck, but Matt Macey was on hand to deny Stevie Farrell’s side a goal their showing merited.

Man of the match – Martin Boyle

Martin Boyle goal v Stranraer
The Hibs wide man (left) was scintillating throughout and could easily had a hat-trick of goals and assists

What did we learn?

All lower-league sides involved in the weekend’s last-16 ties can be proud of their efforts, none more so than Stranraer.

The relentless schedule League 1 and 2 clubs have had to endure in recent weeks has been unforgiving and for the fourth-tier side to be well in the game until after the hour mark against the country’s third-best club is some going by Farrell’s side.

Ross, meanwhile, will be delighted with the relentless pressure his players put on their hosts. On another day, they might have won by a far more significant margin and the performance level keeps momentum rolling going in to a crucial week in their season.

What did they say?

Stranraer manager Stevie Farrell: “Hibs are a very good side but we acquitted ourselves well. We started the second half really well and we missed a big chance to level the game.

“Our full focus this season is getting in the play-offs, that’s not changed. We’ll rest up and be ready for that.”

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: “Our approach to the game was excellent. It was a difficult playing surface and you could probably argue the case for scoring more goals.

“It’s a big week for us now but we’re going to be in a good place for it. [Motherwell] will be tough opposition [in the quarter-final] but we will look forward to it when it comes around.”

What’s next?

League duties resume for both clubs in midweek as Hibernian welcome Livingston on Wednesday (18:00 BST) while Stranraer make the trip to Albion Rovers on Tuesday (19:45).



Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Fleming
  • 5Sonkur
  • 6McManus
  • 2RobertsonBooked at 82mins
  • 8Gallagher
  • 15MillarBooked at 63mins
  • 7HiltonBooked at 68mins
  • 3BurnsSubstituted forHamillat 51′minutes
  • 10Stirling
  • 9DuffySubstituted forPatonat 68′minutes
  • 19OrrSubstituted forYatesat 69′minutes


  • 11Vitoria
  • 14Elliott
  • 17Paton
  • 18Devitt
  • 20Yates
  • 21Walker
  • 22Hamill
  • 23Walker
  • 24Taylor


Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 33Macey
  • 6McGinnBooked at 54mins
  • 4Hanlon
  • 5Porteous
  • 11NewellSubstituted forHallbergat 74′minutes
  • 10BoyleBooked at 67mins
  • 36Irvine
  • 7MagennisSubstituted forWrightat 68′minutes
  • 25DoigSubstituted forStevensonat 72′minutes
  • 15Nisbet
  • 9Doidge


  • 1Marciano
  • 2Gray
  • 8Wright
  • 13Gogic
  • 16Stevenson
  • 20Hallberg
  • 24McGregor
  • 52Laidlaw

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