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Friday, 14 August 2009

Dundee and the Challenge Cup

The Scottish League Challenge Cup; it means only one thing to Dundee fans- another season of First Division football. For many fans of various clubs it's a diddy cup, distracting from the serious business of mounting a serious title challenge. That is, until their team reaches the final, or even the semi-final. It's also been given a somewhat elevated status by Dundee fans this season and another excuse to see our team of "galacticos" in action. Every game is an event now. Such is the confidence in our team that a lot of Dees would like to see us win the trophy as part of a potential double with the First Division title. It's evidence of the renewed interest and enthusiasm amongst the Dark Blue fans.

It all started in 1990-91 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Scottish Football League and it was known as the B & Q Centenary Cup. Dundee's games that year drew healthy crowds, the first game excepted. Tricky away wins at Kille and Raith as well as an 8 goal thriller at Alloa set up a final with Ayr United at Fir Park in front of 11,506. Billy Dodds's hat-trick secured the trophy for Dundee.

2nd Round- Alloa 3-5 Dundee, 915
Quarter Final- Raith Rovers 0-1 Dundee (aet), 4,061
Semi-final- Kilmarnock 0-2 Dundee, 7,933
Final- Ayr 2-3 Dundee (aet), Fir Park, 11,506

The 1991-92 season introduced the tournament, now just called the B & Q Cup, to Dens for the first time and it was to be a short lived affair with Ayr exacting revenge for the previous season's final defeat.

1st Round- Dundee 0-2 Ayr, 2,058

There was a two year break from the competition while Dundee competed in the Premier Division but the 1994-95 competition saw a return to the final; the scoreline mirroring the score in 90-91 with Dundee losing to Challenge Cup specialists- Airdrieonians.

1st Round- Dundee 5-0 Arbroath, 2,205
2nd Round- Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1-1 Dundee (after 90mins & et) 4-3 pens, 2,000
Quarter Final- Dundee 2-1 Morton, 2,199
Semi-final- Dunfermline 1-2 Dundee, 7,154
Final- Airdrie 3-2 Dundee (aet) McDiarmid Park, 8,844

Lack of sponsors meant another name change in 95-96. Dundee would make their 3rd quarter final in 4 attempts in the League Challenge Cup. By the time the Stenhousemuir game came around it was apparent that we had a chance to go far in the League Cup and less importance was placed on the lower league tournament.

1st round- East Fife 2-4 Dundee, 1,157
2nd round- Dundee 3-0 Cowdenbeath, 1,101
Quarter Final- Dundee 1-3 Stenhousemuir, 1,112

Another quarter final followed in 96-97 but a heavy defeat by St. Johnstone put paid to that run. Dundee did manage to avenge their defeat in the previous season's tournament by Stenny however.

1st round- Dundee 3-1 Stenhousemuir, 1,304
2nd round- Airdrie 0-2 Dundee, 1,313
Quarter Final- Dundee 1-5 St. Johnstone, 2,346

1997-98 was a good season by virtue of us being promoted. Airdrie, however, dispatched us in the 1st round of the League Challenge Cup thanks to a 88th minute goal.

1st round- Airdrie 1-0 Dundee, 799

After a gap of 7 seasons playing in the SPL, Dundee returned in 2005-06, and another quarter final appearance ensued.

1st round- Dundee 2-0 East Stirlingshire, 2,554
2nd round- Dundee 1-1 Airdrie United (after 90 mins and et) Dees win on pens, 1,857
Quarter Final- Hamilton 2-0 Dundee, 609

06-7 saw Dundee dispatched by a decent Forfar performance coupled with a completely awful Dundee performance. Thankfully, it wasn't a long journey home that night.

1st round- Forfar 2-1 Dundee, 840

Again, Dundee fell at the first hurdle in 07-8, this time Ross County were our conquerors.

1st round- Dundee 1-2 Ross County, 1,471

For the third consecutive season, Dundee suffered a first round exit at the hands of Alloa, our first and until tomorrow, last opponents in the competition.

1st round- Alloa 2-1 Dundee, 793

So, to the Cowdenbeath game; hopefully it will be a good trip for the Dark Blue faithful, and for once, I'd really like to see us do well in this cup. 'Mon the Dees!

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