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Football: THAT'S HANDEE; TENNENT'S SCOTTISH CUP SPECIAL Supersub Steve uses arm to rattle home Dens winner Dundee 3 Hamilton 2 (Aet, 90 mins: 2-2).

Byline: By Neil Cameron

DUNDEE used up every ounce of energy and absolutely all of their luck to squeeze through to the semi-finals of the Tennent's Scottish Cup.

An extra-time winner by substitute Steven Craig was all that separated these First Division rivals in a quite magnificent replay.

But, understandably, the Hamilton players feel hard done by because Craig controlled the ball with his hand in the lead-up to his winning strike.

While the finish was superb, a game as good as as this did not deserve to be settled in such a manner. Dundee looked to be cruising to Hampden and a clash with Gretna when goals from Bobby Mann and Simon Lynch put them in control.

But Juanjo and Pat Keogh ' got Accies level with two goals in four minutes - thanks in part to poor goalkeeping by Kelvin Jack - to set up another 30 minutes of tense action. In the end, the Dundee supporters didn't care about the controversy over their team's winning goal. They were too busy celebrating reaching a cup semi-final just over a year after shedding tears following relegation from the SPL.

The days of Claudio Caniggia and Fabrizio Ravanelli may now be distant memories but today's Dens stars are just one more victory away from a national final and perhaps even European football.

Accies gave all they had and more. And Billy Reid and his players, sore though they may be, can feel proud of their efforts.

With so much at stake, it was no great surprise the start to the match was tense and scrappy. But in 17 minutes the first piece of decent footb all almost produced a goal.

A great pass from James McArthur sent Accies mate Mark Gilhaney racing down the wing. He sent in a cross that came off Mann and would have gone out for a corner if Brian Wake hadn't managed to head back across goal.

All Scott Tunbridge had to do was knock the ball over the line from a yard out but somehow it wriggled away from under his legs.

The visitors went close again in 24 minutes when Gilhaney's centre was headed wide by Tunbridge.

Two minutes later, the impish Gilhaney cut in and got the ball on his right foot once again.

His shot was on target but Jack saved. However, Dundee didn't clear and comeback man Lee Wilkie got in the way of Wake's shot to prevent what had looked a certain goal.

Dundee did give themselves a shake in the last quarter of the half. A deep corner from Tam McManus eventually found its way to Scott Robertson. He knocked the ball back into the mix and Wilkie got his head on it but it fell into Dave McEwan's arms.

Then from a long Paul Dixon throw - Dundee's most dangerous tactic - Kevin McDonald headed over the bar.

The half ended with Alex Neil's cross being put wide byWake and the home side did well to get inside level.

Dundee were first to threaten in the second half and 17-year-old Bryan Deasley was the architect of the move.

The promising midfielder's pass set up McManus for a shooting chance and although the angle was slightly tight, it didn't excuse a wild finish.

Accies made a change, Juanjo replacing Brown Ferguson, in the hope the little Spaniard could come up with something special but it was Dundee's Lynch who went close with a header.

However, in 58 minutes the home side did take the lead.

It came from one of those long throws from left-back Dixon, this time from the right touchline. The ball was aimed for Mann and the Dundee captain must have leapt 10 feet in the air to get high above the entire Accies defence and headed the ball down and past McEwan.

Dundee were dominant now and Robertson tested McEwan with a long shot just after the hour mark.

Another long throw from Dixon found Wilkie and his flick was about to cross the line until McEwan somehow got his fingertips to the ball to push it away from danger.

Then in 69 minutes Dundee got what should have been a killer second. An inswinging cross from McManus was met by Lynch, who had stolen a yard on his marker, and his perfect header finished in the net.

The home fans got the chance to sing and dance, something there has not been a lot of for the blue and white half of Tayside for a long time.

Accies looked dead and buried and Lynch went close again in 72 minutes with a curling effort that didn't quite curl enough. However, it turned out they were far from dead.

With 14 minutes left, Juanjo fired over a free-kick that was missed by everyone, including Jack, and ended up nestling in the net.

Game on again.

Incredibly, Accies drew level with 10 minutes left. Another Juanjo free-kick caused the problem.

Wake got a flick on it and that left the flailing Jack stranded as sub Keogh bundled the ball over the line from close range.

Two minutes into extra time, this topsy-turvy game produced another goal as Dundee regained the lead in controversial circumstances.

Hesitancy in the Accies rearguard allowed Craig an opening but he had to handle the ball before thumping an unstoppable shot past McEwan.

Neither referee Dougie McDonald nor his assistant spotted the offence and Accies were again left with a mountain to climb.

This time they couldn't climb it.

CAPTION(S):

HIGH POINT: Simon Lynch celebrates after scoring Dundee's second' DEE-LIGHTED: Sub Steven Craig, main pic, fires Dundee into the semis while Simon Lynch makes it 2-0, top, and Pat Keogh, second left, hits Accies' second equalizer PICTURES: ROB CASEY& ALAN RICHARDSON
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 10, 2006
Words:956
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