Stenhousemuir safely through in Scottish Cup after Rodgers hat-trick

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Andy Rodgers inspired Stenhousemuir into the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a special hat-trick of goals to defeat Annan.

Rodgers dound the net three times with just 23 first-half minutes splitting his first and his third strikes beating Annan goalkeeper Alex Mitchell.

For his first he twisted and turned and stroked home, his second was a sensational volley and the third was a long-range strike into the top corner - all before half-time.

But it was strike-partner Stewart Kean who broke the deadlock with a composed strike on nine minutes. He held off Scott Gibson and stroked the ball into the net.

Stenny were soon looking for a second and a penalty when neat one-touch play saw Willie Lyle charge into the box but the cross was charged down by Peter Watson and out for a corner. Stevie Murray claimed for a handball but none of the officials agreed.

Iain Thomson had a pop from distance soon after that was well taken by Alex Mitchell.

The next Warriors' foray forward brought the goal that sealed the game, with Rodgers rcing onto Brown Ferguson's through ball and twisting free of markers and sliding the ball inside the post.

Rodgers' second was even better. He took Brown Ferguson's ball first time, letting it drop over his shoulder and firing into the corner of the net to put The Warriors 3-0 up after just 21 minutes.

A timely intervention from Michael McGowan stopped the pumped up striker completing his hat-trick a minute later.

He did on 37 minutes with another screamer, cracking the ball from just shy of 30 yards into Mitchell's top right-hand corner.

He almost laid on Kean for the Warriors' fifth with a great cross three minutes before half-time, but the striker couldn't convert and forced Mitchell into a rare save a minute later with a tame shot on target.

Harry Cairney wasn't impressed by the first half and pulled his centre-back pairing at the interval. Davie Irons also replaced Brown Ferguson with Sean Dickson afor the second half, and the sub should have converted a header on 56 minutes when he rose higher than the goalkeeper to meet Stevie Murray's cross but looped the header over the bar.

Mitchell made a good save from a 67th minute Stewart Kean drive that was pushed round the post, and Annan continued to offer nothing at the other end.

The Warriors' passing began to loosen around the 70 minute mark and possession switched frequently as the 602 fans became restless, but after an exciting first-half the second priod failed to live up to the game.

Rodgers nearly converted with ten minutes left, but his effort, and Kean's both fell short of the line.

Annan's keeper Mitchell blocked an 83rd minute free kick from Eric Paton as the game edged to a close.

Elsewhere East Stirlingshire lost at East Fife and Cowdenbeath defeated Bo'ness United.