Ayr United 0-2 Hibernian

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland
Highlights - Ayr Utd 0-2 Hibernian

Hibernian reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup after claiming victory over First Division side Ayr United.

Roy O'Donovan headed the visitors in front before team-mate Leigh Griffiths converted a 19th-minute penalty.

Paul Hanlon's header was cleared off the Ayr goal-line midway through the second half.

Ayr's Chris Smith and Andrew Geggan were denied by Graham Stack as Brian Reid's side were unable to repeat last season's cup win against Hibs.

The result means the semi-final will feature an all-Scottish Premier League line-up, with the three other quarter-final ties still to be decided.

Hibs, seeking to win the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1902, started the match on the front foot.

O'Donovan netted with a rebound shot after Ivan Sproule's low effort had been saved by Kevin Cuthbert but the offside flag cut short the visitors' celebrations.

However, O'Donovan was not to be denied in Hibs' next attack, the forward stooping to glance a header home via the post after being found by George Francomb's teasing free-kick.

Ayr began to threaten and Stack scrambled across his line to claim Chris Smith's backheel flick from Michael McGowan's free-kick.

Brian Reid and Steven McLean
Reid was unhappy with the award of Hibs' penalty

Referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot after Geggan was adjudged to have blocked Isaiah Osbourne at a Hibs corner, the defender picking up a booking for his challenge amid protests from the Ayr players.

Griffiths despatched the penalty high into Cuthbert's top left-hand corner.

Sproule continued to cause problems for Ayr and the winger's low centre was just behind O'Donovan, allowing Geggan to clear a couple of yards from the goal-line.

Griffiths then set up Pa Saikou Kujabi for a shot but Smith's blocking tackle averted the danger.

Ayr were opened up again when Griffiths got the break of the ball and his fierce drive from the left-hand edge of the box was clawed away by Cuthbert before another shot from the striker whizzed past the post just before the interval.

The foot of Cuthbert blocked O'Donovan's shot as Hibs began the second half as they had ended the first.

The home side pressed with McGowan crossing from the left and Smith's header was kept out by Stack's reflex save, the keeper smothering the ball as Keigan Parker tried to force it over the line.

Griffiths squandered another chance after running on to a long ball in the inside-left channel before Hanlon's header was cleared off the line by Jonathan Tiffoney.

Hibs survived penalty claims after the ball appeared to strike the arm of Matt Doherty in the box and fellow substitute David Wotherspoon picked up a booking for barging into Tiffoney after the visitors had moved upfield.

Wotherspoon was off target with a shot on the break and a late rally by Ayr failed to yield a score.

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