United's Danny Swanson and Jon Daly congratulate David Goodwillie
By Keir Murray
Dundee United will face Ross County in the Active Nation Scottish Cup final after beating Raith Rovers at Hampden.
Allan Walker had an early low shot saved by United's Dusan Pernis as Raith dominated the early part of the game.
But David Goodwillie's cool finish from Danny Swanson's clever pass transformed United and had Jon Daly's control been better they could have been two ahead.
An Andy Webster header from a corner sealed the win, though a Jamie Mole glancing header went close for Rovers.
The first chance of the match was created by Raith Rovers, who looked the livelier and more inventive for much of the first half.
United goalkeeper Dusan Pernis saved from Allan Walker from close range after some slick build-up play at the edge of the box by the Kirkcaldy side.
United were missing centre-half Garry Kenneth through suspension and full-back Mihael Kovacevic through injury, and the Swiss-born Croat was to be joined on the treatment table by Paul Dixon, who limped off injured after 16 minutes.
He was replaced by Keith Watson and the youngster's first contribution was a nervy pass back to Pernis who, thankfully for United, was alert to the danger.
Goodwillie broke the deadlock after 28 minutes against the run of play, a kick-out from Pernis falling for Danny Swanson who slid the ball down the inside channel for his team-mate.
United's joint-top scorer tempted Raith keeper David McGurn from his goal before rounding him and slotting the ball into the net from a tight angle.
Tannadice captain Webster's joy at his team's lead was dulled at the blow he took to his head as he tried to nod home Craig Conway's corner, Grant Murray making the accidental connection.
The goal, for the remainder of the half, transformed United, who hitherto had displayed the sort of nervy performance that had disfigured their Hampden appearances in recent decades.
Swanson was the intelligent provider just before half-time when he cut across the pitch and dinked the ball into the box for Daly.
But when the big Irishman chested the ball too far in front of him he had to stretch and lean back to get his shot away and knocked the ball over the bar.
Webster headed United's second from an outswinging Craig Conway corner in 59 minutes, the culmination of a period of sustained pressure for the Scottish Premier League side.
Moments before, Watson had wreaked havoc down the right wing and sent in a delicious ball into the six-yard box, which would surely have been converted by Daly had Raith's Thierry Gathuessi not intervened with perfect timing.
Rovers' best effort by way of response came from Walker's ball into the box, which was met by Jamie Mole and his header flashed past Pernis's right-hand post.
The lush Hampden surface, though, was sapping the energy from the First Division players' legs.
Raith boss John McGlynn sent on striker Graham Weir in favour of the tiring Iain Williamson as the Fifers tried to get back into the game.
As the Tangerines continued to dominate, Prince Buaben fired high over the bar from the edge of the box with 15 minutes remaining.
If the Raith defence were relieved at Buaben's profligacy, they must have grimaced at the sight of pacy Jennison Myrie-Williams sprinting on to the pitch, a substitute for Swanson.
Raith tried bravely to haul themselves up the pitch to test Pernis but never looked like breaching United's goal.
The Terrors will be be back at Hampden for the final on 15 May.
Live text and stats
Sunday, 11 April 2010
23 Dixon (Watson 16)
14 Swanson (Myrie-Williams 77)
25 Goodwillie (Cadamarteri 83)
05 Hill (Ferry 89)
11 Williamson (Weir 60 yellow card)
09 Mole (Smith 78)
Ref: ThomsonAtt: 17,671
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:06 The referee brings the game to a close.
90:00+0:49 Craig Conway decides to take a short corner.
89:47 Unfair challenge on Craig Conway by Theirry Gathuessi results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Craig Conway.
89:00 Shot by Iain Davidson from just outside the area goes over the net.
88:30 Substitution Mark Ferry is brought on as a substitute for Douglas Hill.
87:15 Danny Cadamarteri challenges Douglas Hill unfairly and gives away a free kick. Douglas Hill restarts play with the free kick.
86:29 Inswinging corner taken by Allan Walker from the left by-line.
86:04 Short corner taken by Darren Smith from the left by-line.
82:54 Substitution David Goodwillie leaves the field to be replaced by Danny Cadamarteri.
80:23 Stephen Simmons takes a shot. Dusan Pernis makes a save.
79:20 Iain Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jennison Myrie-Williams. Dusan Pernis restarts play with the
78:46 Darren Dods concedes a free kick for a foul on Gregory Tade. Direct free kick taken by Grant Murray.
76:53 Substitution Darren Smith is brought on as a substitute for Jamie Mole.
76:53 Substitution Daniel Swanson leaves the field to be replaced by Jennison Myrie-Williams.
75:13 Prince Buaben takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
74:31 Inswinging corner taken by Craig Conway from the left by-line.
74:24 A cross is delivered by David Goodwillie.
73:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by Prince Buaben on Allan Walker. Allan Walker takes the direct free kick.
70:47 Effort from deep inside the area by Jon Daly misses to the left of the target.
70:21 The ball is sent over by Allan Walker, blocked by Craig Conway.
69:19 The ball is delivered by Laurie Ellis, clearance by Keith Watson.
67:23 The free kick is delivered right-footed by Craig Conway from left wing, Douglas Hill manages to make a clearance.
67:23 Booking The referee cautions Graham Weir for unsporting behaviour.
67:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Conway by Graham Weir.
66:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Simmons on Jon Daly. Free kick taken by Sean Dillon.
64:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jon Daly on Stephen Simmons. Free kick taken by Grant Murray.
62:09 Morgaro Gomis concedes a free kick for a foul on Jamie Mole. The ball is sent over by Allan Walker, Headed effort from inside
the area by Jamie Mole misses to the right of the goal.
59:34 Substitution Graham Weir joins the action as a substitute, replacing Iain Williamson.
58:04 The assist for the goal came from Craig Conway.
58:04 GOAL - Andy Webster:Dundee Utd 2 - 0 Raith Rovers Andy Webster finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Dundee Utd 2-0 Raith.
57:31 Corner taken by Craig Conway,
Correction - 56:05 Unfair challenge on Laurie Ellis by Daniel Swanson results in a free kick. Free kick taken by David McGurn.
56:05 Daniel Swanson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Laurie Ellis. Direct free kick taken by David McGurn.
55:31 David Goodwillie is adjudged to have handled the ball. Indirect free kick taken by David McGurn.
54:23 Theirry Gathuessi delivers the ball, blocked by Darren Dods.
52:26 Douglas Hill concedes a free kick for a foul on David Goodwillie. Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Conway.
50:59 The ball is sent over by Keith Watson.
49:44 Foul by Gregory Tade on Darren Dods, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sean Dillon from own half.
Correction - 49:12 The ball is crossed by Keith Watson, Header by Jon Daly from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
49:12 The ball is sent over by Keith Watson, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Jon Daly misses to the right of the target.
48:13 Gregory Tade is caught offside. Free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:00+2:08 The match has reached half-time.
45:00+1:45 Jamie Mole crosses the ball.
45:00+0:31 Unfair challenge on Stephen Simmons by Morgaro Gomis results in a free kick. Iain Davidson restarts play with the free kick.
44:54 Craig Conway gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gregory Tade. Free kick taken by David McGurn.
40:12 Close range shot by Jon Daly goes over the bar.
36:46 Gregory Tade fouled by Sean Dillon, the ref awards a free kick. Allan Walker restarts play with the free kick.
34:42 Daniel Swanson fouled by Laurie Ellis, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Swanson restarts play with the free kick.
34:10 Iain Davidson fouled by Craig Conway, the ref awards a free kick. Douglas Hill takes the free kick.
32:57 Corner taken by Craig Conway from the left by-line played to the near post.
30:05 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Conway to the near post, Grant Murray makes a clearance.
29:04 Craig Conway takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Douglas Hill.
27:26 Assist by Daniel Swanson.
27:26 GOAL - David Goodwillie:Dundee Utd 1 - 0 Raith Rovers David Goodwillie grabs a goal from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Dundee Utd 1-0 Raith.
26:29 The assistant referee flags for offside against Jon Daly. Free kick taken by David McGurn.
24:20 Iain Davidson concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Swanson. Direct free kick taken by Sean Dillon.
22:56 The referee blows for offside. Dusan Pernis restarts play with the free kick.
19:04 Allan Walker takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Darren Dods.
17:59 Inswinging corner taken by Allan Walker from the left by-line, Darren Dods makes a clearance.
16:53 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jon Daly on Douglas Hill. Douglas Hill restarts play with the free kick.
15:12 Substitution Keith Watson is brought on as a substitute for Paul Dixon.
11:28 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Allan Walker.
10:21 Allan Walker takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.
9:30 Craig Conway is adjudged to have handled the ball. Allan Walker takes the free kick.
8:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Theirry Gathuessi on David Goodwillie. Sean Dillon takes the direct free kick.
7:28 Craig Conway challenges Theirry Gathuessi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Allan Walker takes the free kick.
7:07 Morgaro Gomis concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Simmons. Douglas Hill takes the direct free kick.
4:51 Foul by Jon Daly on Iain Davidson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Douglas Hill.
3:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Iain Davidson by Morgaro Gomis. Free kick taken by David McGurn.
2:55 Foul by Allan Walker on Paul Dixon, free kick awarded. Dusan Pernis takes the direct free kick.
2:00 Morgaro Gomis concedes a free kick for a foul on Grant Murray. Direct free kick taken by David McGurn.
0:57 Gregory Tade sends in a cross.
0:00 The match gets underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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