Dundee send Loons out of the League Cup

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Forfar Athletic lost out to a very, very late goal to go out of the League Cup 2-1 to last week’s Ramsdens Cup opponents Dundee at Dens Park again after a controversial decision by referee Barry Cook, writes Lee Smith.

The Loons made five changes from Saturday’s game against Brechin, with returning loanee Dale Hilson, Gavin Malin, Chris Templeman, Stuart Malcolm and Darren Dods replacing Bryan Deasley, Marvin Andrews, Neil McCabe, Martyn Fotheringham and Paul McManus.

Dundee started off the stronger side, with Ryan Conroy and Jim McAlister seeing efforts crash off the cross bar before Forfar’s first chance came in the 10th minute, passes between the two Gavins, Swankie and Malin, ended with Swankie curling his attempt past Kyle Letheren’s post.

Three minutes later Dundee piled more pressure on Forfar when Conroy fired straight at Darren Hill before Peter MacDonald saw his header saved well.

Until the 42nd minute, there were no clear-cut chances for either side, a cross into the box saw Declan Gallagher climb all over Templeman in his attempts to reach the ball and the ref blew for a penalty, booking Gallagher.

Iain Campbell stepped up to take it and sent his penalty low and out of the reach of the keeper to give the visitors the lead.

The Loons almost went two up on the stroke of half time, Chris Templeman and Gavin Swankie combining to set up Malin, who stabbed his effort at the keeper.

HALF TIME: Dundee 0, Forfar Athletic 1

Dundee started the second half strongly, looking for an equaliser, and they got it in the 50th minute.

McAlister collected the ball in near the Forfar box, turned a defender, ran towards goal and sent away a low shot that beat Hill and ended up in the net.

Forfar almost took the lead again, this time a long ball from Mark Baxter saw the Dundee defence leave it and Gavin Swankie took the opportunity to run for it and hit a half volley that Letheren did well to save.

McAlister headed straight at Hill again before Peter MacDonald fired over in the 59th minute.

Forfar had another chance after 62 minutes, a cross from Gavin Swankie went to the back post and Templeman flashed his effort across goal.

Dundee went down to 10 men in the 67th minute, Kevin McBride decided it would be a good idea to throw himself to ground 30 yards from goal, earning himself a second yellow.

The closest Dundee came to grabbing a winner was in the 80th minute, an effort from Gavin Rae was cleared off the line by Iain Campbell.

Both sides saw headers held in injury time before the ref blew for full time, which meant the game went to extra time.

Very little happened in the first half of extra time, Conroy sending a shot miles wide for Dundee, while Gary Fusco did the same for Forfar before Ross Campbell had an attempt saved by Letheren.

Barry Cook evened up the red card he gave Dundee earlier in the 105th minute, Stuart Malcolm pushing a player off the ball, earning him his second yellow of the evening.

Dundee were able to pressure the Loons after that, Jim McAlister nodding against the bar and missing a sitter while sub Martin Boyle had an effort go past the post.

Forfar did have their own chances though, Gavin Swankie’s turn and shot going wide of the mark before Paul McManus had a volley deflected into Letheren’s arms.

They also came the closest they had in extra time, with five minutes left a free kick from Mark Baxter was sent deep into the Dundee box and the ball was met by the head of Swankie, but his header was caught by Letheren, who fumbled on the line before gathering again.

Dundee scored deep into injury time, Gary Fusco won the ball in an aerial challenge, but Martin Boyle fell to the ground underneath him and Barry Cook deemed that worthy of a free kick, despite no foul occurring.

Peter MacDonald stepped up and curled in a brilliant free kick, like he had last week, into the top corner out of Darren Hill’s reach.

Dundee: Kyle Letheren, Gary Irvine, Matthew Lockwood, Willie Dyer, Kevin McBride, Peter MacDonald, Gavin Rae, Ryan Conroy, Carlo Monti (Martin Boyle 74), Declan Gallagher, Jim McAlister. Subs not used: James Thomson, Jamie Reid, Thomas Carberry, Dan Twardzik.

Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Gary Fusco, Omar Kader, Gavin Malin (James Dale 97), Chris Templeman (Ross Campbell 97), Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson (Paul McManus 85). Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Rab Douglas.