Stokes fires Celtic through

PA Sport
Anthony Stokes
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Anthony Stokes

An Anthony Stokes hat-trick helped Celtic into the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a 3-0 win against a stubborn Peterhead at Balmoor.

The Hoops had struggled to break down a well-organised Peterhead defence before the Irishman slotted the ball home eight minutes before the break.

And Stokes drilled home a second after 57 minutes after linking up with Emilio Izaguirre before netting a third in the closing stages to end any hopes of a Blue Toon comeback.

Celtic should have taken the lead after 27 minutes when Cha Du-ri cut the ball back for Stokes at the near post but the Celtic striker blasted high over the crossbar.

Rory McAllister picked up the first booking of the match a minute later for a late challenge on Charlie Mulgrew before Ki Sung-yueng rattled the woodwork with a rasping drive from the edge of the area.

The opening goal arrived after 37 minutes when Georgios Samaras latched onto Paddy McCourt's diagonal pass and the Greek picked out the unmarked Stokes, who had the easiest of finishes.

The Irishman thought he had doubled the lead two minutes before the break when he netted from another Samaras cross but the goal was chalked off for offside.

Celtic had the ball in the net once more within three minutes of the restart after a neat finish by Stokes but again the striker had strayed into an offside position.

However the Irishman finally got his second after 57 minutes when he linked up superbly with Izaguirre before drilling the ball expertly into the bottom corner past the helpless Paul Jarvie.

Stokes completed his hat-trick seven minutes from time after Scott Brown picked him out at the back post in plenty of space and the former Hibernian man made no mistake as he fired the ball past Jarvie to the delight of the noisy travelling support.

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