Elijah Anukam came off the bench to score a second half hat-trick as Portobello edged out an injury depleted St Bernards in what proved to be a tight battle at Portobello High School.
With a place in the last 16 of the Kenny McLean cup up for grabs, chances were a plenty at both ends of the field. On the balance of play, St Bernards were marginally on top, although the sides went in level at the interval.
However, the second half was a different story and even though the visitors continued to create opportunities, it was always Portobello in the ascendancy.
It was a bright start for Saints, as Callum Lumsden early ball was dealt with by Dylin Izatt before Ryan Kerr scrambled the ball off the line at the other end following Ewan McKinaly’s strike.
McKinaly would be at the heart of the Portobello attack once again, surging through the middle on the break before fizzing an effort from the edge of the area just wide of the left hand post.
Jack Fall tested Jamie Stables with a free kick well outside the area but it was a fairly routine save for the St Bernards stopper. Up the other end, Lumsden saw another effort at goal caught following a ball over the top from Daniel Suala.
Chances continued to rain at both ends as Ricky Waugh sliced a speculative volley wide of target and Finlay Halton looped an effort just wide of the top corner.
Ewan Mcleannan failed to connect with an inviting cross into the middle before Saints had a penalty claim waved away by the referee.
A key moment came when St Bernards' Kerr had to come off injured and couldn't continue. The visitiors didn't have any subsitutes on the bench and therefore had to play the lengthy remainder of the match with ten men.
The ten men would end the first period with a succession of corners, the final of which saw Mcleannan's strike blocked from close range and the ball was eventually scrambled to safety as the half came to a close goalless.