Despite making a fantastic 142 break in the 15th frame, the Scot was powerless to resist Carter's experience and nous around the table.
Stephen HendrySnooker analyst, BBC Sport
"It was a great performance and a well justified win. He frustrated Stephen Maguire from the first session and kept in front the whole way. He looks determined and he won't be able to slack off with Peter Ebdon in his corner."
Although the Englishman made a 134 four frames later, he played cautiously and took the opportunities which were presented to him by Maguire.
The fiery Glaswegian rapped his cue on the table and floor when circumstances failed to go his way and he sat ruefully in his chair as he watched his opponent strike a killer blow with each draw of the cue.
But Maguire staged a late comeback in the penultimate session to stay in contention of a maiden final appearance and the third session's play promised an interesting finish.
Carter, who has won two ranking events in his career, took the first in controversial fashion. Holding a 21 point lead, he was put in a tricky snooker by Maguire and after six failed attempts, referee Leo Scullion did not call a miss, leaving him three points behind. Maguire came to the table and hit the jaws with the red, and Carter, after a superb pot, took the frame.
He took the next one too to sit on the verge of victory. The Essex man was staying cool, showing no emotion, watching each ball into the heart of the pocket.
He could have wrapped it up in the next but showed signs of Crucible jitters when missing a simple red and Maguire came in to clinch a frame, and his heart will have been beating just a little bit faster as his adversary took the following too.
However, Carter held his nerve with a break of 70 to book his place in the showpiece event at the Crucible Theatre.
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