The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United had yet to kick a ball in pre-season before they were drawn into regional action in the form of a Monday night Forfarshire Cup semi-final tie against Forfar Athletic at Station Park. With Hamish McAlpine still recovering from injury, Andy Graham stepped in between the sticks. New signing Ian Wildridge started up front for the Loons, with the daunting and unenviable task of making his debut against Scottish internationalist centre halves Hegarty and Narey.Both teams took some time to settle, but it was United who eventually hit their stride and offered the first threat of the match, as a Davie Dodds overhead kick flew over Stewart Kennedy's crossbar. At the other end, a Dave Narey clearance prevented John Clark from scoring after good work from Ian McPhee. After nine minutes, disaster struck for the home side. Kennedy seemed to have a cross from Willie Pettigrew more than covered, but his defender Bobby Laurie unexpectedly headed the ball over his own 'keeper, handing United a 1-0 lead. Despite chances for both sides during the next twenty minutes, it was United who again scored, extending their lead on the half hour mark. Eamonn Bannon worked his way up the right wing and his eventual cross met John Holt who dived to head the ball past Kennedy. Shortly after United's second, a chance fell to Forfar's Ronnie Robb after clever work from Wildridge, but his effort hit the side netting. United completed their first half rout with six minutes of the period remaining as another own goal extended the scoreline to 3-0. A Holt rocket flew towards goal and was seemingly on its way into the waiting arms of Kennedy, but the ball hit Billy Bennett and took a wicked deflection, flying in the opposite direction to Kennedy and into the net.An uncharacteristic mistake from Narey allowed Forfar back into the game following the resumption. Playing a short pass back to Andy Graham, Narey allowed Ronnie Robb to nip in behind the defence and slot the ball under the United 'keeper to make it 1-2. Over an hour had been played with no real sign of Forfar further reducing the deficit. That was until the 66th minute, when Robb netted his second of the evening thanks to an admirable solo effort. Picking the ball up two yards outside the box, he battled past Hegarty, Narey and Stark before lashing the ball high into the net past a rooted Graham. The Loons' comeback was almost complete moments later when Ray Farningham forced Graham into a sensational save and in the closing minute, both sides of the crowd were were left gasping as Forfar put the United defence under pressure in search of an equaliser. Despite late scares, United held on to advance to the final.