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Byline: By Ewan SMITH

HAMPDEN was packed as 50,000 fans eagerly anticipated what had all the makings of a sizzling final.

Would United do it or could Celtic rescue their season by lifting the trophy for a 33rd time? Here MailSport tracks the minutes that mattered.

3.0pm: John Rowbotham blows to signal the start of his last game as a referee.

3.08: Barry Robson bursts clear and has a great chance of a shot inside the 18-yard box but trips over the ball at the vital moment.

3.10: Craig Bellamy's pace beats Paul Ritchie and Alan Archibald is forced into a dangerous lunge to concede a free-kick. Alan Thompson takes it and fools keeper Tony Bullock with a low drive, deflected into the net.

3.17: Stevie Crawford loses marker Didier Agathe to reach Jason Scotland's cross but can't get the final touch to make it count.

3.23: Stilian Petrov is next to have a go but his 20-yard effort goes just past.

3.30: First flash of Bellamy's blistering pace as he speeds past Ritchie on to John Hartson's pass. The defender lunges in and is booked.

3.37: Chris Sutton's cross is met by Thompson but Mark Wilson blocks the ball on the line.

3.43: Bullock spills Petrov's corner to Bellamy, whose effort is deflected for a corner.

3.44: Grant Brebner fires a warning to Celtic with a low drive that skids just past.

4.02: Set-piece expert Thompson sends in a cross and Sutton heads wide.

4.05: Celtic fans appeal for a penalty as Bellamy falls under Garry Kenneth's challenge but whistler Rowbotham waves play on.

4.07: Robson goes in late on Bellamy and is booked.

4.09: Sutton unleashes a low drive that just misses the target.

4.13: The first glimpse of United as Archibald latches on to a Derek McInnes knock-down only to volley high and wide.

4.15: Robson shows great skill on the edge of the box and is chopped down by Neil Lennon just as he lines up a shot. 4.21: Bellamy's pace again takes him clear only for Ritchie to save United with a block.

4.31: United boss Gordon Chisholm sends on Collin Samuel for McInnes.

4.37 Bellamy shoots over after another great set-up by Sutton.

4.38: Chisholm sends on Stuart Duff and James Grady for Brebner and Crawford.

4.41: Celtic get a penalty after Bellamy is felled by teenager Kenneth but Sutton slips as he hits the ball. which goes wide.

4.42: Aiden McGeady goes on for Thompson as Martin O'Neill tries to run down the clock.

4.43: Archibald becomes the third United player booked for fouling Petrov and Stanislav Varga follows for tripping Samuel.

4.49: Archibald goes close to forcing extra time with a 25-yard drive that hits the bar.

4.50: O'Neill raises his arms in salute as ref John Rowbotham blows for time.

4.57: Celtic skipper Jackie McNamara passes the duty of lifting the Cup to Celtic's coaching staff O'Neill, John Robertson and Steve Walford


3.10; Winning strike: Dundee United keeper Tony Bullock lies helpless as team-mate Garry Kenneth deflects in Alan Thompson's curling free-kick in the 11th minute that brought the Hoops their 33rd Scottish Cup triumph; 3.23; A shot at glory: Celtic's Bulgarian midfielder Stilian; advantage. With Tangerines skipper Derek McInnes; Petrov fires in a first-half shot as Martin O'Neill's men try to press home their early trying his best to shut down Petrov on the edge of the box the effort went well wide; 4.40; Spot of bother: Craig Bellamy's twinkle-toes prove too quick for United defender Gary Kenneth whose desperate lunge in the box hands Celtic a late penalty kick; 4.41; Sutty and weep: Chris Sutton slips as he takes the Celtic penalty that would have eased nerves but despite the blunder it was all right in the end for the relieved striker; 4.50; Get the party started: O'Neill raises his arms in triumph as the final whistle blows to let him celebrate a last win as Parkhead gaffer; 4.57; Parting gift: Martin O'Neill is all smiles as he lifts the Scottish Cup after being sent forward by his players as a tribute to their boss who picked up his last trophy for the club in his final match in charge
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 29, 2005
Next Article:Football: Scottish Cup: Moments that counted.

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