FALKIRK cup specialist Ally Graham kept his cool at Tannadice and hopes his equaliser hots up the competition for places as the Bairns chase FIVE trophies.
Graham netted in the 117th minute to send the Communities Cup quarter-final to penalties and now wants his first piece of silverware next week.
The striker continued his cup goalscoring run with a goal against Dundee United having fired Falkirk to next week’s Stirlingshire Cup final with a double against East Stirlingshire.
But Graham has been frozen out of the first-team lately after a red-card against the Shire led to a suspension. But he hopes his extra-time heroics earn him more starts and a berth in the last ever Stirlingshire cup game.
“When my chances have come I’ve taken them. I’ve scored in the Communities Cup now as well as friendlies and the Stirlingshire Cup.
“I hope this makes up for my sending off - with the gaffer especially.
A few of us didn’t play well in that game so hopefully I’ve made up for that because he was very disappointed I was sent off.
It was an irrational kick - just temper. But I’ve learned from it and keep my cool now.”
Staying calm was forefront of Graham’s mind as the shootout lurched closer towards his turn to shoot from the spot at Dundee United keeper Dusan Pernis on Tuesday night.
“I couldn’t believe I scored - I still can’t. I was and am over the moon.
“The list was made up to take the penalties, but I wanted on it - but I was seventh in the line.
“I wanted one of the first five, but had gone away for a drink to cool down - and missed my chance.
“I was trying to keep cool while the kicks were taken, because I thought I might be needed, but I knew deep down we would do it.
“Now we’re in the final four teams I don’t see any reason why we can’t go on and win it.
“Hope I can get myself back in the team and be involved at Hampden. Everyone wants to be involved at Hampden, but I’m from Glasgow so to be playing there would be extra-special.”
The semi-final venues have still to be rubber-stamped by the Scottish Football League, and before they come round next year Falkirk have Raith and Dumbarton in the next week.
“I want to start winning with the Stirlingshire Cup and I hope my goal puts me in the team for that game too, and as much as possible,” said Graham, who signed a re-negotiated contract a fortnight ago, keeping him with the Bairns until the end of the season.
n TUESDAY’S Stirlingshire Cup final kicks off at The Falkirk Stadium at 7.30 p.m. Adult entry is £5 and concessions £3.