Forfar Athletic 2
Dale Hilson 50 (pen), 54
Dundee United 2
Andrew Robertson 29, Jordan Moore 88
A late equaliser denied Forfar Athletic victory over a talented Dundee United side that included 3 regular first team players at Station Park as they drew 2-2 on Wednesday night.
Five changes were made from Monday’s win over Cove Rangers, the trialist centre back and the trialist who scored, Craig Smith, Paul McLellan and Liam Keiller all dropped out of the starting eleven for Mark Baxter, Gavin Malin, Dale Hilson, Gavin Swankie and Danny Denholm. United fielded six players with senior level experience, the main ones being first team regulars Radoslaw Cierzniak, John Souttar and Scottish internationalist Andrew Robertson.
In front of a near two thousand strong crowd, the first opportunity of the game in the sixth minute and was wasted by United’s ‘trialist’ Kudus Oyenuga at the far post when it was much easier to score than to fire over.
In the 13th minute ex-Arab Dale Hilson, who was released by them in the summer, turned Darren Petrie inside out on the touchline before sending in a cross that was pushed towards Swankie, his shot was blocked before the ball was taken off Gavin Malin’s toes as he went to fire home.
Petrie then nodded over from a Charlie Telfer corner before Oyenuga missed yet another sitter after 19 minutes.
Hilson caused havoc on the right wing again in the 23rd minute, this time beating Robertson but his cross was cleared before anyone in a Forfar shirt could reach it.
Yet again Hilson was involved in an attack, this time beating four or five defenders with ease as he drove forward before letting fly with a shot from the edge of the box that went just wide of the mark.
The visitors took the lead in the 29th minute, Andrew Robertson ran into the Forfar half, passing to Aidan Connolly, who switched the ball into the box for Robertson to latch onto before slotting home underneath Rab Douglas.
The Loons reacted to going behind well, with Chris Templeman having a shot blocked before four minutes from half time, Danny Denholm knocked the ball towards the left back trialist who sent in a great cross, although the knocked was nodded away, but only to Hilson who fired wide.
HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 0 Dundee United 1
Five minutes into the second half Forfar were awarded a penalty when Scott Fraser bundled over Omar Kader in the box. Dale Hilson stepped up and coolly slotted the penalty home.
Darren Dods made a great challenge in the 52nd minute to stop Oyenuga closing in on goal when he looked to be clean through.
Forfar took the lead in the 54th minute, John Souttar misjudging where to place a header back towards goal and Hilson rushed past Darren Petrie before composing himself when one on one with Cierzniak, his first attempt was parried and when he received the ball back, he cut past a defender before firing home his second in four minutes.
It was no more than Hilson deserved for his performance against his former employers.
Oyenuga missed his third sitter of the game in the 58th minute, while at the other end on the hour mark Darren Dods was close to bulleting home had Cierzniak not punched Omar Kader’s corner away just before he got his head to it.
Scott Fraser volleyed wide and Blair Spittal curled a free kick past the post as United looked for an equaliser with the Loons looking as if they were starting to tire.
With seven minutes left of the game Fraser went close again but his effort was deflected wide before sub Michael Gardyne’s corner came to nothing.
Michael Dunlop cleared Spittal’s cross off sub Jordan Moore’s toes in the 85th minute, with the resultant corner by Gardyne falling to sub Ali Coote, his shot being deflected into Moore’s path but he wasted the chance he had. From this a counter attack formed and ended in the left back Trialist swinging in a cross that was headed away with Denholm waiting to pounce at the back post.
The Tannadice outfit grabbed an equaliser with two minutes left, a low cross from Robertson being lashed home by Moore.
The final chance of the game came from Forfar, Denholm winning the ball in midfield before sending Craig Smith clear down the right wing, he put a cross in that was swept over the bar by Gavin Swankie.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Dale Hilson, no chance it could have been anyone else. Deserved his two goals.
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 6 (Trialist 71, 4), Trialist 7, Michael Dunlop 7, Darren Dods 7, Gavin Malin 4 (Darren Young 15, 6), Omar Kader 6 (Craig Smith 71, 4), Dale Hilson 8 (Paul McLellan 71, 4), Chris Templeman 6, Gavin Swankie 6, Danny Denholm 7.
Subs not used: Stuart Malcolm, Ross Salmon (gk)
Dundee United: Radoslaw Cierzniak, Euan Spark (Jamie Montgomery 61), Andrew Robertson, John Souttar, Darren Petrie, Scott Smith, Blair Spittal, Charlie Telfer (Michael Gardyne 46), Kudus Oyenuga (Jordan Moore 61), Scott Fraser, Aiden Connolly (Ali Coote 61).
Sub not used: Marc McCallum (gk)