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Dundee United 0-2 Hibs: Nisbet and Doidge dump Terrors out as Hibees book place in Scottish Cup Final

Kevin Nisbet (right) celebrates giving Hibs the lead at Hampden.
Kevin Nisbet (right) celebrates giving Hibs the lead at Hampden.

Dundee United were dumped out of the Scottish Cup as goals from Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge booked Hibs’ place in the final.

A delicate Nisbet finish on 27 minutes and a controversial second-half strike from Doidge was enough for Jack Ross’ men to set up a May 22 showpiece against St Mirren or St Johnstone.

The all-Saints semi-final takes place at Hampden tomorrow but it was Hibs celebrating at the national stadium this afternoon as they came out on top in the last-four clash.

United will be left ruing chances spurned after an impressive start to the match and being in control for most of the second period.

Their focus returns to the league now, with Motherwell calling in at Tannadice on Wednesday night.

Tangerines start with zest as Harkes spurns two glorious opportunities to open scoring

United were unchanged from their 3-0 win at Aberdeen in the last round, while Melker Hallberg for Alex Gogic was the only change from Hibs’ quarter-final against the Well.

The Tangerines had the lion’s share of possession in the opening moments but the territory was the Hibees as Hallberg swung in three harmless set-pieces.

Ian Harkes had the first clear-cut opportunity of the match but failed to control Lawrence Shankland’s through ball as United broke into the opposition box.

Though they were very narrow, the Terrors were compact and winning plenty of second balls in the early stages as they tried to get in behind the Hibs backline.

Hibs winger Martin Boyle was a tough assignment for Dundee United left-back Jamie Robson (left).

On nine minutes, the ball broke to Hallberg on the edge of the box but the Swedish midfielder could only lash a hammer drive wide.

Calum Butcher was booked moments later for a studs-up challenge on Martin Boyle before United, again, broke dangerously and with pace through Shankland and Marc McNulty.

The latter’s cutback pinballed around the area but came to nothing as the Tangerines continued to look the more likely to strike first.

Harkes, once more, was the man on the end of another great chance for the Terrors as he headed McNulty’s cross from the right wing high and wide.

Despite their profligacy, it was encouraging signs for United.

Hibs become dominant as Nisbet breaks the deadlock with composed finish

Boyle continued to be a thorn in their side, however, with Jamie Robson having to work hard to try to contain the Australia international.

Ryan Porteous burst over the half-way line on 21 minutes and fed Jackson Irvine but the midfielder could only scoop an effort way over Deniz’s bar.

Doidge lunged to get on the end of an Irvine flick-on inside the six-yard box as Jack Ross’ men tried to force the issue.

However, the Hibs hitman fouled goalie Deniz in the process and whistler Bobby Madden, eventually, blew for a foul.

Nisbet was inches away from giving the Edinburgh side the lead on 26 minutes as he fired agonisingly wide from Boyle’s pick out.

A minute later, however, the former Dunfermline man made no mistake coolly slotting low beyond an outstretched Deniz from the edge of the area.

It was too easy for Irvine to bring the ball down under the presence of Liam Smith as he laid the ball on a plate for Nisbet to caress a right-foot shot home.

Following a collision with Shankland, Hibs playmaker Joe Newell was down in the centre circle and required treatment for a few minutes after the half-hour mark.

Kevin Nisbet’s fine finish gave Hibs the lead on 27 minutes.

He was able to continue and the Easter Road side kept up their period of dominance.

United were struggling to get out of their own half for the final 20 minutes of the opening period as a dynamic Hibs forward line kept them pinned back.

Mellon’s men begin second period with purpose but Doidge doubles Hibs’ lead with offside goal

Both teams were unchanged at the break as Hibs got the second 45 under way.

Shankland and McNulty linked up to good effect down the right flank as the latter drew a free-kick from Hibs centre-half Porteous.

Nicky Clark stepped up to take from 25 yards but curled his right-foot effort well wide.

You got the sense, for all they deserved to be in the lead, this Hibs side were there for the taking.

Micky Mellon’s first switch of the game on 53 minutes, Adrian Sporle for Clark, suggested the United manager agreed with that notion.

Instantly, the Argentine made inroads down the left flank as he looked to impact the game with pace, trickery and unpredictability.

Sporle would win a free-kick that Robson whipped dangerously into the area. Hibs would clear before Jeando Fuchs bobbled a volley wide.

Against the run of play, Hibs doubled their lead as the front three of Boyle, Nisbet and Doidge interchanged devastatingly.

Doidge would finish off the move, latching on to a Boyle flick round the corner, but the Welsh striker was in an offside position when he struck beyond Deniz.

The McNulty-Shankland duo were continuing to cause Hibs problems on 62 minutes as Shanks forced Matt Macey into a smart save at his near post.

Christian Doidge (right) celebrates putting Hibs two to the good.

On-loan Reading hitman McNulty fired wide from 25 yards soon after as United kept the pressure on.

Robson, surging forward from left-back was next to come close, turning a right-foot effort narrowly past the post.

With their first chance since Doidge’s goal, Boyle burst through on goal only to be denied by a last-ditch Smith tackle.

Former Dundee wide man Boyle, again, was the tormentor-in-chief as he drove at the United backline before being scythed down by Ryan Edwards.

The Liverpudlian centre-half went into the book before a thunderous Nisbet free-kick was well-saved by Deniz.

Lawrence Shankland forced a smart save out of Matt Macey in the second half.

United’s back-up stopper Deniz, in for the injured Benjamin Siegrist, was called into action by Hibs sub Jamie Murphy with three minutes left on the clock.

The former Falkirk keeper had to look sharp as he turned Murphy’s effort round the post.

The Terrors pushed right until the end of the five additional minutes, with Shankland again testing Macey from close range, but their cup adventure ended in semi-final disappointment.

Hibs will be watching on with interest tomorrow as St Mirren and St Johnstone face off for a place in the final.

For United, however, their season is all but over with just two Premiership games remaining, against Motherwell and the Buddies, with little left to play for.

Dundee United (4-1-2-1-2): Deniz (GK); L Smith, Edwards, Reynolds (C), Robson; Butcher; Harkes (Pawlett 60), Fuchs; Clark (Sporle 53); McNulty, Shankland.

Subs not used: Doohan (GK), Sporle, Connolly, Chalmers, Appere, Davidson, Watson and K Smith.

Hibs (4-3-3): Macey (GK); McGinn, Porteous (McGregor 73), Hanlon (C), Doig; Hallberg, Newell (Magennis 60), Irvine; Boyle, Doidge, Nisbet (Murphy 84).

Subs not used: Marciano (GK), Gray, Wright, Stevenson and Laidlaw.

Referee: Bobby Madden.

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