Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley hailed his players’ dedication after they beat Queen of the South 3-0 and sealed a Scottish Cup tie against Hibernian.
Cove were hugely impressive in their 3-0 triumph, with goals from Fraser Fyvie and a Mitch Megginson brace sending them into the fourth round.
They had to weather a brief storm – both from the conditions and from Queens – but Cove were worthy winners on a horrid night in Dumfries.
They knew what awaited them should they progress at Palmerston and while the game is put on the back-burner until next month, Easter Road against a Premiership outfit is an enticing prospect.
Hartley said: “I thought they were magnificent from start to finish. We really controlled the game in the first half. It was an outstanding goal from Fyvie and we had two or three really good chances in the first half.
“Second half we really managed the game and scored crucial goals at crucial times. I’m thrilled for the players and they can look forward to a really good game against Hibs.
“It was an outstanding performance. The lads have had to take time off work, so there’s a lot of dedication there.
“It’s about the players getting into the next round. The carrot was there getting Hibs at Easter Road – some might not have played there before.
“It’s a good reward for the club, hopefully financially with a good crowd. It’s a good evening all round.
Queens goalkeeper Sol Brynn, who kept his side in the tie at the Balmoral Stadium 10 days ago, was again proving influential as he twice kept out Jamie Masson in the first half and prevented an own-goal from Paul McKay.
Fyvie lashed Cove in front on 38 minutes, holding off the attentions of a Queens defender and arrowing a shot into the top corner after 25 yards.
The visitors finally came to life in the second half, with Lee Connolly fizzing a shot wide and Ruari Paton seeing a header come back off the frame of the goal.
But after coping with that spell of pressure, Cove put the game to bed. Megginson exchanged passes with the excellent Blair Yule and dinked past Brynn at his near post.
The skipper rounded off the night in style four minutes later as he latched on to a half-cleared cross to bag the third from the edge of the box.
Hartley added: “We had to be organised and disciplined. It was a tricky pitch for us.
“But we were a threat in the final third and have players who can score goals.”