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Scottish Cup (3rd Round Replay)
|Neil Duffy (105)
Gavin Rae (91)
Jamie Langfield .13
Lee Wilkie .20
Barry Smith .2
Robbie Raeside .6
Steven Tweed .5
Steven Boyack .7
Shaun McSkimming .12
Hugh Robertson .14
Gavin Rae .8
Willie Falconer .11
Graham Bayne .22
Lee Sharp .15
James Grady .10
Nicky Banger .35
Mickey Reynolds for Neil Tarrant (70)
Mark Crilly for Neil Scally (86)
Roddy Grant for Andy McMillan (101)
Nicky Banger for Steven Boyack (56)
James Grady for Graham Bayne (83)
Lee Sharp for Shaun McSkimming (119)
Jim Herald (Referee)
Dundee suffered the cruellest of Scottish Cup exits at snow-swept Somerset Park last night, when they were squeezed out of the competition on penalties.
With 3½ hours of football failing to split the sides, a shoot-out had been necessary to settle who would meet the winner of the much-delayed Motherwell v Arbroath replay.
But, even then, it remained too close to call with only Gavin Rae and Roddy Grant failing to convert for each side to take the tie to the sudden death stage.
Robbie Raeside and Barry Smith managed to convert their spot-kicks without a problem but, when Gary Teale and Paul Shepherd did likewise, it fell to Nicky Banger to keep the Dark Blues ahead.
The Englishman under-hit his effort to give Craig Nelson a straightforward save and set John Robertson up with the chance to land victory for the hosts.
He made no mistake and the west coast team was through to the fourth round.
Dundee boss Jocky Scott was not to be consoled. He said, "We have only ourselves to blame.
"We didn't do enough to the tie so had to take our chances in the penalties. "It is hard for both Gavin and Nicky to bear but they deserve credit for having the courage to take the penalties in the first place.
"It is never a nice way to lose but you have to be honest with yourself.
"We will now try to pick ourselves up for the league campaign ahead."
For 14 minutes of extra time the triumph had looked like being Dundee's with Rae having swept home James Grady's cross in the 91st minute.
However, when the visitors' defence failed to reach Teale's corner, former Dens Park skipper Neil Duffy was perfectly placed to power a header home.
With Glynn Hurst missing an open goal after rounding Jamie Langfield, a stand-in for the injured Robert Douglas, it looked like the SPL side had been given a great let-off.
As it was to turn out, though, it was only a temporary stay of execution.
With Douglas and Craig Ireland both failing fitness tests on their suspected knee injuries, the Dundee boss was forced to reshuffle his side.
The selection of Langfield in goal was expected but there was a surprise in the centre of defence where Raeside was given his first start for the club this season.
Dundee's patchwork back line was soon called into action as Ayr pushed forward in search of an early opener.
Teale, man-of-the-match in the drawn game at Dens Park 10 days pr viously, caused consternation when he outpaced Shaun McSkimming and Rae to reach the bye-line but his deep cross found no takers.
A neat flick by Marvyn Wilson then nearly sprang Neil Tarrant free in the box, the ball running just beyond him as he shaped to pick his spot.
As the tempo increased, both Rae and the home side's Neil Scally were booked for swapping fouls.
A 30-yard effort from Wilson gave Langfield his first save of the night and it was a nervous one for the 20-year-old with the ball squirming out of his grasp only to drop straight back into his arms.
The Scotland Under-21 squad mem ber clearly wasn't unsettled by the experience for he showed great confi dence in coming off his line to clutch a cross that was destined for the head of Hurst.
On the hour mark, Dundee got their first shot on target when Raeside tested Craig Nelson from distance.
Steven Boyack made way for Banger two minutes later as Scott attempted to manufacture a breakthrough.
Wilson's foul on Smith gave the sub stitute an early chance to make an impact but Nelson was alive to the danger and dashed out to collect his free-kick.
Ayr had rung the changes, too, and their new man, Mickey Reynolds, on for Tarrant, came close to scoring when he burst free and shot just over.
With snow falling heavily, referee Jim Herald called for an orange ball. It made things easier to follow for the spectators but didn't bring a goal and the tie went in to extra time and then on to the dramatic shoot-out.
Ayr manager Gordon Dalziel said, "It was a shame that somebody had to lose out in this fashion but over the two games I thought we deserved the wee bit of luck we had in the penalties."
Matchwinner Robertson said, "This is a fantastic win for us as Dundee are a Premier League team.
"Our keeper Craig Nelson did fantastically to save two penalties and that helped take some of the pressure off me."
Ayr United: Nelson, McMillan (Grant 101), Craig, Duffy, Robertson, Teale, Scally (Crilly 86), Wilson, Shepherd, Hurst, Tarrant
Match report written by The Courier
|Jamie Langfield (GK)
|Lee Sharp (sub)
|Nicky Banger (sub)
|James Grady (sub)
No league table has been added for this season.