Scottish League Cup: More woe for Ian Cathro as Hearts are humbled
Last Updated: 01/08/17 10:00pm
The pressure on Hearts coach Ian Cathro has been cranked up again after they were dumped out of the League Cup at the group stage at the expense of Dunfermline.
The Edinburgh club needed to beat Dunfermline at Tynecastle to progress to the next round but could only draw 2-2 while League Two Peterhead - who beat Hearts 2-1 in midweek - won comfortably at Elgin City to keep their hopes alive of going through as one of the four best runners-up from the eight qualifying sections.
Don Cowie's opener in Gorgie was cancelled out by Joe Cardle's sweet finish. Declan McManus then put the visitors in front and the boos were ringing round three sides of the ground long before Isma Goncalves poked home an academic equaliser four minutes from time.
Dunfermline secured a bonus point by winning the penalty shoot-out - and top the group - but even success from 12 yards would have not been enough to save the Premiership side.
Hamilton, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Motherwell, Ross County, Partick Thistle, Falkirk, Ayr United and Livingston are the other sides to have guaranteed their continued presence in this year's renewal after Saturday's action.
Ross County sealed their place in the second round following a penalty shoot-out victory over Arbroath but the goalless draw at Gayfield combined with Hibernian's 3-0 victory over Alloa meant County had to settle for second spot.
A first-half opener from youngster Fraser Murray and a second-half double from Simon Murray ensured the Easter Road outfit progressed as winners in Group D.
County won 5-4 on penalties to move on to 10 points but would have qualified as one of the four best runners-up, even if they had lost the spot-kick battle.
Christie Elliot struck late at Firhill on to seal Partick Thistle's place in the last 16 after a narrow 1-0 win over Stranraer.
Goals from Ali Crawford, David Templeton and Steven Boyd gave Hamilton a comfortbale 3-0 win over Stenhousemuir at the SuperSeal stadium and a ticket to the next stage.
Motherwell left it late before Elliott Frear knocked home a rebound to sealed a 1-0 victory over Berwick and their postion as a second round seed.
Goals from new boys Lee Erwin and Chris Burke and veteran Kris Boyd against Dumbarton ensured a 3-0 win for Kilmarnock and their passage into Sunday's draw.
Championship sides Falkirk, Dunfermline Athletic and Livingston join the Premiership clubs in the second round after winning their groups.
As do Ian McCall's Ayr United, who suffered relegation to League One last season but - like Falkirk - finish the group stage with a 100% record.
Dundee and Dundee United meet in the Tayside derby on Sunday to see who goes through as Group C winners; both will progress unless one suffers a six goal reverse - in which case Peterhead will earn a reprieve.