Lothian Hutchison Vale 1

St Mirren 7

A RUTHLESS first half performance from St Mirren ensured there was no Scottish Cup upset against Lothian Hutchison Vale at the Saughton Enclosure on Saturday.

Seven goals in the first 45 minutes ended any chance of a fairytale story for the East of Scotland League side, four divisions below Saints.

Gavin Reilly scored four goals, with Lewis Morgan, Jack Baird and Cammy Smith making it a comfortable lead going in at the break.

Sean Wringe scored a consolation goal for the hosts after 47 minutes, but the damage had already been done as Saints now head up to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen in the fourth round.

Saints went with a strong starting line-up, only making three changes from their last outing, a 2-1 defeat to Dundee United.

In came Stelios Demetriou,Cammy MacPherson and Harry Davis, making his first appearance for Saints since March, in place of Jamie McCart, Liam Smith and Adam Eckersley.

There was a hint of an upset in the opening minutes. Louis Swanson, brother of Hibs star Danny, fired in a corner, with Grant Munro hitting the ball just wide.

This gave Saints a jolt, and their first goal came minutes later.

Stelios dribbled past two players before finding Morgan in the middle, and the Scotland under-21 international made no mistake, slotting the ball into the net.

Saints doubled their lead on eight minutes. Davis’ shot inside the box was saved by goalkeeper Kevin Swain, but Reilly was on hand to tap in the rebound.

The hosts could have got a goal back on 15 minutes, a long hopeful punt from the Lothian goalkeeper landed at Jamie Devlin’s feet, but the striker smashed his shot well over the bar.

And they were punished just three minutes later, when Morgan’s corner found Baird inside the six yard box, who headed the ball in for Saints’ third.

Goalkeeper Swain then made a mistake with his clearance on 24 minutes, Smith firing in from 25 yards to pile more misery on the home side.

Reilly got his second of the afternoon on 32 minutes, after good work from Smith down the left, the striker controlling his cross to make it 5-0.

Reilly then added his third after good work from Ian McShane, and then the fourth added the icing on the cake for the 24-year-old, capitalising on a missed header from Munro, the striker slotted past the keeper to put Saints in seventh heaven.

Lothian Hutchison Vale clawed one back after the break, with Wringe blasting the ball home on 47 minutes.

But the game was long gone by then, and St Mirren were able to comfortably see out the result and progress to the last 32 of the competition. Saints’ next game is away to Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm.