Rangers 3 Airdrie 0
It had been all of 21 years since the two clubs last met in the Scottish Cup – the 1992 Final won 2-1 by the Light Blues.
Applause rang round the Stadium in the second minute in tribute to former Ranger Fernando Ricksen, recently diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease at the age of just 37.
Ally McCoist made just the one enforced change from Tuesday night with Kyle Hutton making his first start of the season in place of the suspended Ian Black.
Rangers made a good start, forcing three corners in the opening five minutes but the visitors’ defence held firm.
Lee Wallace, motoring down the left, cut open the right flank of the Airdrie defence in an interchange with Lewis MacLeod only to see his final effort blocked.
The Ibrox men continued to dominate – but as in previous games a lack of width in midfield limited the attacking options with Airdrie’s packed defence numbering at times six solid and impenetrable unlike the league game in August when Rangers overwhelmed their opponents 6-0.
For the third successive Rangers game the score-line remained blank at the interval, with the lack of creativity and penetration all too apparent. The deadlock was finally broken in 49 minutes when Jon Daly swept the ball home at the back post after Arnold Peralta’s cross was knocked on by Lewis MacLeod.
As is so often the case the long-awaited breakthrough was quickly followed by another just three minutes later - again from Daly – who got the faintest of touches with his head to convert a Richard Foster cross.
There was the unusual occurrence of an indirect free-kick inside the penalty area in 64 minutes when Daly was obstructed – Lee McCulloch’s drive being blocked by visiting goalkeeper Tony Bullock.
David Templeton came on midway through the second-half for Lewis MacLeod.
Daly was denied his hat-trick seconds later when his shot from a Peralta corner was cleared off the line.
Andy Little substituted for Nicky Clark on 70 minutes – but it was Templeton who added a third goal 10 minutes later.
when he slotted the ball home following good work by Nicky Law on the left.