Noel Hunt 3, Hamilton 1
Tannadice Park, Dundee
Dundee United progressed to the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup, after succeeding where SPL rivals Kilmarnock failed..... by beating on-form 1st division side Hamilton.
It was a surprisingly easy victory for Dundee United, as the 1st division leaders struggled to even get a shot on goal, only managing to score from the penalty spot late into the 2nd half.
In contradiction, it only took Dundee United 10minutes to open the scoring, and that was after hitting the woodwork twice through Jordan Robertson and Morgaro Gomis in the opening few minutes.
Captain Barry Robson was influential in the opening goal, after another dangerous cross found Noel Hunt at the back post, where he managed to head the ball over Hamilton keeper Bryn Halliwell.
In the 2nd half, Noel Hunt extended United`s lead with a 77th minute header, after yet another expertly taken cross by Barry Robson.
Then, against the run of play, Hamilton earned a penalty after Prince Bauben was judged to have handled the ball.
Richard Offiong scored the resulting spot kick, sending United keeper Szamotulski the wrong way and throwing Hamilton a lifeline going into the final 10minutes of the match.
However, Noel Hunt wasn`t going to let Hamilton ruin his chances of playing in another Semi-Final and completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute, to secure a 3-1 win for Dundee United.
Surprise, surprise, Barry Robson was involved in setting him up, with Hunt sending a right-foot strike into the bottom-right of the goal from 12-yards out.
It wasn`t really the competitive, niggling cup tie that many would have expected, with referee Mike McCurry not dishing out a single yellow card and the stats show there was only a total of 12 fouls committed during the whole 90minutes.
Dundee United cant expect to have it as easy in the Semi-Final, when they could play either SPL sides Hearts, Rangers or Aberdeen.
Hearts pulled off the shock result of the round, beating Celtic 2-0 at Parkhead with 2 late goals from substitute Andrius Velicka.
While Rangers overcame Motherwell 2-1 at Fir Park and Aberdeen had an impressive 4-1 victory over Inverness Caley Thistle, thanks to a hat-trick from Barry Nicholson.
Dundee United 3-1 Hamilton