CRAIG CONWAY didn’t exactly spend much time reflecting on his man-of-the-match display for Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final win over Ross County on the 10th anniversary of the feat, which took place on Friday past.

Instead Conway was at home minding his daughter Myla while his wife took their son, Luca, to Preston hospital so that Conway Jr could have a pin inserted in the arm he broke playing FIFA on his game console.

Yes, you read that correctly.

“We’ve got a room through the back and it’s got a computer set up,” says Conway from his home near Chorley. “He was sitting on the side of the sofa and – how you can do this playing FIFA I do not know – he fell off it, landed awkwardly and broke it.”

It’s not the first time the hero of that 2010 final has had to miss out on the celebrations commemorating it. When United held a get-together for the players from that victorious side – only the second in the club’s history to lift the Scottish Cup – Conway was absent, because his Salford City side were playing a game that day.

“It was in January this year,” he recalls. “I was absolutely gutted not to get to the reunion. Paul Reid [head of commercial] at Dundee United organised it and I had to give him a bit of stick. If you’ve got a 10-year anniversary for a cup final, do you have it six months before it?” he laughs. “I didn’t really understand it. We had a game that day and it was physically impossible to make it.”

He jokes that perhaps there was some degree of foresight on Smith’s part considering where we find ourselves now. Instead, Conway has had to content himself with a video re-run of his match-winning performance. United were already 1-0 up thanks to David Goodwillie’s goal when Conway muscled his way clear of the County defence in the 75th minute before stroking the ball past Michael McGovern to virtually seal victory. He made sure the cup would go back to Tayside when he drove Morgaro Gomis’ flick into the turf past the Northern Irish goalkeeper with four minutes left to cap a fine performance.

His main recollection from the day, though, is not what you might expect.

“I do think there was an added sense of nervousness. The one thing I do definitely remember was the added pressure of being favourites. I think we had the Celtic and Ross County game [the latter won the first semi-final that year] ringing in our ears, thinking, ‘We can’t let that happen to us’.”

In truth, the result was never really in doubt as United claimed a trophy that for so long, especially in the 1980s when Jim McClean’s excellent side lost four finals in seven years, had been so elusive.

“I remember ex-players that were part of the team that won the Scottish Cup in 1994 doing interviews saying things like, ‘It would be good if they could do it again’. We were well aware of the fans talking about the number of finals United had lost and hoping that it was not going to be another one of those. You can’t help but feel that pressure by listening to what everyone else is saying.”

The other games that stand out for Conway during the cup run were the two quarter-final ties against Rangers. After a thrilling 3-3 draw at Ibrox, United had David Robertson’s scrambled winner to thank for setting up a semi-final against Raith Rovers.

“We came away from the game at Ibrox feeling a bit hard-done by; it was a game we should have won. At Tannadice, we were good for the win. Robbo’s goal, when I think about it, hit every part of his body before going in. There was a real buzz in the dressing room after that game, we were thinking, ‘We could go all the way here’.”

When Celtic then fell to County in the semi-final, 24 hours before United faced Rovers, the path suddenly opened right up for Peter Houston’s side.

“We thought we were going to be playing against Raith for a place in the final against Celtic, you think it’s a foregone conclusion. It was just such a wake-up call.”

The events of 2010 provided Conway with a form of catharsis. His previous visit to the national stadium for a final had ended badly, with him missing a penalty in the shootout to decide the League Cup final against Rangers two years earlier.

“The thing that made it harder was that I changed my mind at the last second and I hit the post. From that day onwards, I’ve never changed my mind!”