Ten days ago Aberdeen fans invaded Edinburgh to make it “Redinburgh”. More than 16 thousand Dons made their way to the capital in a bid to roar their team to a cup final for the first time in 14 years.
As soon as Jonny Hayes slid in at the back post in the third minute to force an Adam Rooney delivery into the net, Derek McInnes and his men never looked back. Pre-match predictions of a tight encounter with their Perth rivals were dispelled as further strikes from Hayes, Peter Pawlett and Rooney rounded off a stunning 4-0 success.
You would be forgiven for expecting the Dons to be hogging the headlines of the back pages, but after alleged abuse of Celtic gaffer Neil Lennon during the match at Tynecastle, it was unwanted front page column inches that sent Aberdeen and their supporters tumbling from cloud nine.
Much of the following week’s news was dominated by what Neil Lennon was apparently subjected to during his scouting mission as he looked forward to his team’s Scottish Cup tie with Aberdeen.
Spitting? Coin throwing? Cup throwing?
Perhaps all three, we’ll just have to take Mr Lennon’s word for it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not in any way condone such despicable behaviour and I hope those responsible are dealt with accordingly but this should not have detracted from a wonderful win for the Reds.
The vast majority who packed Tynecastle were magnificent as those from the Granite City claimed three stands to create an atmosphere all too rare to Scottish football. Their team did them proud and the Dons will be on the march again as 30 thousand Aberdeen fans are expected in Glasgow’s East End for next month’s final showdown with John Hughes’ Inverness.
It was inevitable that in the build-up to Saturday’s Scottish Cup crunch that, again, the Tyncastle flash point would again take centre stage – but not for Derek McInnes and Aberdeen, it would seem.
Admittedly, journalists country wide were keen to press Lennon for his take on events in the Tynecastle’s Main Stand but he was more than happy to oblige. Strangely though, when quizzed about his agent’s claim that Lennon was spat on he opted to cool suggestions, admitting there was no evidence of this. Strange.
Meanwhile, while Lennon spent his week in the Lennextown press room, Aberdeen counterpart McInnes was plotting Celtic’s downfall as his¬¬ ¬troops’ focus was on ensuing an uncomfortable Saturday lunch time for the Hoops.
Mind you, no one would have blamed McInnes for doing likewise, after all, two St Johnstone fans chose to run into his technical area during the 4-0 success but it’s OK, it was Derek McInnes. I shudder to think what the result would have been if Lennon was in the Tynecastle dugout – actually, never mind.
Little wonder then, that on the day Aberdeen had too much for Celtic. After conceding early on, it looked like an all too typical Parkhead disappointment for the Dons but a Russell Anderson equaliser paved the way for a Celtic collapse. It was the first goal the Parkhead team had conceded in 12 domestic outings and they crumbled. A Peter Pawlett strike early in the second 45 gave the away team the platform to go on and win and they saw Celtic off with minimal fuss.
Aberdeen continue to prosper under the dynamic guidance of Derek McInnes and have the chance to secure, what would be a spectacular domestic cup double.
Celtic meanwhile will limp towards another league title in front of half-empty Parkhead crowds. Cup throwing? Absolutely.