Top-flight Motherwell eased into the Scottish Cup last 16 after a five-goal thrashing of Highland League outfit Formartine United.
After a cagey opening half hour, the visitors struck twice in six minutes through Christopher Long and Jordan Roberts.
Roberts slid in a second early in the second half before Devante Cole and Allan Campbell completed the scoring.
The draw for the fourth and fifth rounds take place on Sunday afternoon.
Despite Motherwell enjoying all of the ball in the opening exchanges, it was the non-league hosts who saw the first real sight of goal.
Jonathan Crawford’s cross from the right was headed down towards Liam Kelly’s near post by Garry Woods, but the Motherwell keeper did well to hold the ball.
In a cagey opening half hour, Roberts came closest for the visitors with a strike driven into Kevin Main’s side netting, before the on-loan Hearts man headed narrowly wide of his own goal while defending a wide free-kick.
Roberts’ relief was shared by the entire Motherwell contingent just moments later as the deadlock was broken by Long, who nipped in front of Main to finish after the home keeper attempted to meet a hopeful punt upfield from Declan Gallagher.
Roberts would then double the visitors’ advantage six minutes later, smashing home a Nathan McGinley cross before sliding in a second from close range early in the second period.
Formartine – a side who had played just twice in 2021 before Motherwell’s visit – then fell four goals behind just after the hour mark as Stephen O’Donnell’s cross from the right was met by the head of Cole at the back post.
And Alexander’s men would round off the scoring with the pick of the bunch in the 76th minute when substitute Jake Hastie’s back heel was met by Campbell, whose neat nutmeg allowed him to fire low past Main.
What did they say?
Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: “Credit to the boys, they were very good mentally and physically. We had to earn the right to play and win, I think we did that very well.
“We got a bit of fortune with the first goal but we asked them questions and made them defend. It was great to see all the front three scoring.”
Formartine United manager Paul Lawson: “It was a tough afternoon, we knew it was going to be. We looked nervous early on but we were holding our own without playing great stuff.
“If we had taken our early chance it would’ve given the boys confidence. But we can’t look too much into this result, we won’t come up against sides like this every week.”
- 11ParkSubstituted forLawrenceat 77′minutesBooked at 85mins
- 8AndersonSubstituted forNorrisat 30′minutes
- 10SmithSubstituted forGreigat 56′minutes
- 6CampbellSubstituted forLamieat 77′minutes
- 8CrawfordSubstituted forFoleyat 67′minutes
- 39RobertsBooked at 28minsSubstituted forHastieat 67′minutes
Match ends, Formartine United 0, Motherwell 5.
Second Half ends, Formartine United 0, Motherwell 5.
Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Devante Cole (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Kieran Lawrence (Formartine United) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Chris Long (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Jake Hastie (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Darryn Kelly.
Attempt missed. Devante Cole (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kieran Lawrence (Formartine United).
Substitution, Motherwell. Ricki Lamie replaces Allan Campbell.
Substitution, Formartine United. Kieran Lawrence replaces Daniel Park.
Goal! Formartine United 0, Motherwell 5. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Chris Long.
Allan Campbell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stuart Anderson (Formartine United).
Foul by Daniel Park (Formartine United).
Steven Lawless (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tyler Magloire (Motherwell).
Garry Wood (Formartine United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.