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Dundee United beat neighbours in Scottish Cup

ESPN staff
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Brian McLean headed Dundee United's first © PA Photos
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Gary Mackay-Steven fired Dundee United into the Scottish Cup semi-finals as Jackie McNamara tasted victory in his first derby as manager, beating Dundee 2-1.

The winger drilled a shot under Rab Douglas in the 35th minute of an absorbing first half at Dens Park after Dundee midfielder Jim McAlister had cancelled out Brian McLean's headed opener.

Dundee had brought in John Brown as interim manager the previous weekend in a bid to save their season but United maintained the upper hand in the city clashes. However, it was closer than the previous three encounters, including a pre-season friendly, which all ended 3-0 to the Tannadice men.

United took the lead in the 11th minute in controversial circumstances. Dundee claimed Mackay-Steven had run the ball out of play on the right wing but linesman Andrew McWilliam did not agree and the winger cut inside Brian Easton and Ryan Conroy before being brought down by the latter.

Barry Douglas swung in the free-kick and McLean rose above everyone else to beat Dundee goalkeeper Douglas to the ball and head into an empty net from inside the six-yard box.

The hosts looked flat until they equalised out of the blue with 19 minutes gone. Dundee worked the ball into the box to John Baird, who laid it off for McAlister to slot into the bottom corner from 16 yards and spark bedlam as the home fans celebrated a derby goal for the first time in eight years.

But the visitors regained the lead with what proved to be the winner in the 35th minute. Armstrong broke forward from midfield, ran at the heart of the United defence and slipped the ball through for Mackay-Steven who ran inside and drilled a left-footed shot from 18 yards that flew underneath Douglas.

Leigh Griffiths was the Hibernian hero after his hat-trick against Kilmarnock sent the Leith men bouncing happily into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup with a 4-2 win.

In a pulsating match at Rugby Park, Griffiths opened the scoring in the 15th minute only for James Dayton to equalise. Matt Done restored Hibs' lead in the 39th minute before Paul Heffernan slammed in a penalty to level again.

But Griffiths was not to be denied as he notched twice more, the second from the spot, with Killie ending the match with 10 men after defender Ross Barbour was sent off late on for a tug on the on-loan Wolves player at the edge of the box.

Hibs, who famously have not won the tournament since 1902, will join Celtic, Dundee United and First Division Falkirk in the draw at Hampden and it is mostly down to Griffiths, who celebrated his first professional hat-trick.

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