Hamilton 1 Dundee United 3
New Douglas Park
Sat 5th Feb 12.45pm
Scottish Cup holders Dundee United eased to a comfortable 3-1 victory in the fifth round of the competition at Hamilton Academical.
Skipper Jon Daly headed them on their way midway through the first-half and Paul Dixon's deflected effort doubled their advantage six minutes before the break.
Mickael Antoine-Curier nodded the home side back into the game at the start of the second-half, at least until Prince Buaben made it 3-1 for the visitors on the hour.
The Tangerines had experienced plenty of difficulty disposing of an obstinate Ross County in the previous round but found no such trouble this time around, although Dougie Imrie squandered an early opportunity for their opponents after good work from Antoine-Curier.
Craig Conway then supplied Dixon from a sharply taken free-kick on 20 minutes and his low drive struck the legs of goalkeeper Tom Cerny for Daly to head the visitors into the lead.
Leading scorer David Goodwillie soon threatened to add another on the turn when finding the clutches of Cerny, who was though again beaten as Dixon reacted well with a first-time deflected 39th minute effort after the home defence had failed to properly clear.
Marco Paixao drove over in reply just before the break, but his side offered themselves hope after Antoine-Curier headed in Andy Graham's cross at the far post within a minute of the restart.
Accies' Marco Paixao then tried his luck from 25-yards with an attempt wide of the mark before Daly headed back Conway's free-kick on the hour at the opposite end and Buaben turned the ball home from close-range.
Earlier goalscorer Daly could also have had another only to be denied at the second attempt by Cerny as the visitors moved into the next round and the last eight in their defence of the trophy.
Hamilton Academical: Cerny, Canning, Graham (Wildig 81), McLaughlin, Buchanan, Kilday, Carrington, Routledge, Imrie (Casalinuovo 81), M. Paixao (McAlister 66), Antoine-Curier
subs (unused): Murdoch, Skelton
Goals: Antoine-Curier (46)
Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Dixon, Kenneth, Watson, Conway, S. Robertson (Gomis 76), D. Robertson, Buaben, Daly, Goodwillie
subs (unused): Banks, Douglas, Swanson, Russell
Goals: Daly (20), Dixon (39), Buaben (59)
Ref: C. Thomson