James McPake: Memories of Hibs Scottish Cup comeback meant I always knew Dundee could rescue dire situation v Bonnyrigg Rose

Dundee manager James McPake always believed his side could rescue the situation against Bonnyrigg Rose in Saturday’s epic Scottish Cup tie because he remembered coming back from 3-0 down in a cup semi-final with Hibs.

Dundee manager James McPake always believed his side could come back against Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic  (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Dundee manager James McPake always believed his side could come back against Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Dundee were in an arguably worse predicament because they were seconds away from being on the wrong end of one of the biggest Scottish Cup shocks of all-time at Dens Park on Saturday night.

Lowland League side Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic reached the fourth of five minutes’ worth of injury time still leading 1-0 from Lee Currie’s first-half penalty when Jonathan Afolabi struck a last-gasp equaliser for Dundee.

Although the Championship side were handed another scare when Currie repeated the trick from the penalty spot in the first half of extra-time, goals from defender Lee Ashcroft and striker Osman Sow secured Dundee’s placed in the draw for the third round.

Even in those desperate last minutes of regular time, with Bonnyrigg Rose ‘keeper Mark Weir seemingly unbeatable, McPake was confident his side would pull through. He recalled captaining Hibs at Hampden Park when they scored four second-half goals to beat Falkirk 4-3 to reach the 2013 Scottish Cup final v Celtic.

“It’s weird – it is cup football,” he said. “I have been 3-0 down in a cup semi-final at half-time and I still never thought I was out then. You always know if you have players on the park of the quality we do the chance would come.

“Balls are hitting the bar, their goalie’s making great saves, you do start to doubt it – is this one of those nights? Thankfully we got there. We had character but we are not going to brag about it. It should be a given at this club. But we are in the hat.

“Am I happy? I was not happy when I won the semi-final 4-3, to get to the final as a player, and I am not happy tonight and we’re through. But I will wake up tomorrow and see that my club is still in the hat for the next round, and I will be happy.”

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