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Hamilton Accies 2-1 Dundee Utd

By Martin Conaghan

Brian Easton (left) holds off Dundee United's Morgaro Gomis
Brian Easton holds off Dundee United's Morgaro Gomis

Two goals from Chris Swailes sent Hamilton Accies through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup with an impressive win over Dundee United.

United's Danny Grainger opened the scoring with a fine free-kick in the 34th minute after James McCarthy had felled Prince Bauben.

Less than two minutes after the restart Swailes struck confidently from close-range to level the scores.

The Englishman sealed Accies' win eight minutes later with a back-post header.

Hamilton headed into the tie hoping to maintain their impressive record over Dundee United this season, while Craig Levein's side were keen to banish memories of last week's penalty shoot-out defeat by Celtic in the Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final.

The hosts looked dangerous early on and McCarthy's effort from inside the United penalty area was deflected wide for a corner.

Almost immediately, Warren Feeney lost his marker at the other end and his shot on the turn was well blocked by Tomas Cerny.

With 16 minutes played a goalmouth scramble in the United six-yard box almost almost led to the opening goal for Hamilton's James Gibson, but Lee Wilkie managed to clear it for a corner.

As the half-hour mark approached, United's Craig Conway fired in a long-range free-kick that Cerny managed to punch clear.

When McCarthy felled Buaben on the edge of the Hamilton penalty area in the 34th minute, Grainger stepped up to strike the resulting free-kick and sent a low, curving ball around the wall past the outstretched Cerny.

Feeney should have extended United's lead before half-time when Garry Kenneth nodded down for the on-loan Irishman to head for goal, but his effort went wide.

Shortly after the restart, Hamilton began their fightback when Swailes equalised, after James McCarthy had worked the ball in from the right-hand side of the United penalty area.

The Englishman fired confidently into the top-right corner of the net past Lucasz Zaluska.

Hamilton doubled their tally eight minutes later when Easton fired in a corner and Swailes headed in at the back post for his and Accies' second goal.

Moments later, Richard Offiong could have made it three for Billy Reid's side after breaking free down the right, but fired his shot straight at Zaluska and Easton's follow-up was easily smothered.

With 15 minutes remaining, United's Feeney stood unmarked on the penalty spot and nodded in a header from close-range with Cerny pouncing to save on the line.

Eight minutes from time, Conway and Grainer squandered a free-kick on the edge of the Hamilton penalty area following some confusion in the hosts' ranks.

Moments later, a goal-bound Simon Mensing strike was well held by Zaluska.

United continued to push for an equaliser as the seconds ticked away and a late goalmouth scramble in the Hamilton penalty area was eventually cleared to ensure the Lanarkshire side progressed to the last eight of the Scottish Cup.

Hamilton manager Billy Reid:
"We're delighted to be in the next round. I thought it was a great advert for Scottish football.

"We were disappointed to go in one-nil down, because I thought we controlled the first 25 minutes of the game, but I told the players to be patient."

"United put us under pressure towards the end, but all credit to our players."

Dundee United manager Craig Levein:

"A couple of poor bits of defending have cost us.

"We played well, had good opportunities to score and got into some fantastic positions. Half time came at the wrong time because we were in the ascendancy.

"And, bar the goalkeeper's heel in the last couple of minutes, we would've got a replay."

Hamilton: Cerny, McClenahan, Swailes, Canning, Gibson, Quinn (Lyle 66), Mensing, Neil, McCarthy, Easton, Deuchar (Offiong 50). Subs Not Used: Murdoch, Thomas, McGowan.

Booked: Offiong, Easton.

Goals: Swailes 47, 55.

Dundee Utd: Zaluska, Dillon (Swanson 76), Wilkie, Kenneth, Grainger, Kovacevic, Buaben, Gomis (David Robertson 89), Conway, Feeney (Sandaza 76), Daly. Subs Not Used: McGovern, Dixon.

Booked: Conway, Feeney.

Goals: Grainger 35.

Att: 3,058

Ref: C Richmond

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Hamilton's Chris Swailes 8.20 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Scottish Cup as it happened
07 Feb 09 |  Scottish Cups

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