St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson is thrilled that his team were able to make good their pledge of getting their fans to Hampden Park.
The 2-0 Premier Sports Cup quarter-final win against local rivals Dundee sets up a fifth trip to their second home in less than a year.
Last season’s cup hero Shaun Rooney opened the scoring, with recent signing Ali Crawford putting the tie out of the Dark Blues’ reach.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) September 22, 2021
The holders are now just two games away from retaining the first of the trophies they won in their domestic double.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Davidson.
“We said we’d do it for the supporters. I thought they were brilliant tonight for us. They kept us going all the way through.
“It was so important to have them at Hampden this time.”
🔵⚪ @StJohnstone are Hampden bound once again!
A fantastic finish from Ali Crawford sealed the 2-0 win 👏 pic.twitter.com/Q2Rotg7Pwh
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) September 22, 2021
Dundee passed up a couple of excellent chances in the first half but Saints were at their clinical best after the break.
“I actually thought it was a game where both teams tried to have a go,” said Davidson.
“Dundee, in the first half, probably had the better chances. We probably had the better play but they had the better chances.
“In the second half we weathered the storm, but once we scored, I thought we settled down, soaked up pressure and then hit them on the counter.”
That man Rooney again
Rooney couldn’t have picked a better time to get back on the goal trail.
“I’ll tell you what, he can keep scoring if he wants!” said Davidson.
“I’m not too bothered whether it was a sclaff or a mishit into the net.
“It was a terrible corner from Liam (Craig). Chris Kane did really well getting in front and causing problems.
“And then Shaun has finished it off.
“I always thought the first goal was going to be crucial.”
On Crawford’s first goal for Saints, and the one that sealed their place in the last four, Davidson said: “That’s why I brought Ali in.
“He’s got quality in front of goal and he’s that type of player. He’s not up to speed match fitness-wise yet, but you can see glimpses on the pitch of those bits of quality.
“He’s a great finisher, technically very good, and he’s a great addition to the team.”
Making it five trips to Hampden in such a short space of time will take a while to sink in for Davidson.
“When you say it like that, it sounds pretty good,” he said. “It’s just great to go back to Hampden really. It’s fantastic.
“It’s a great achievement by a club like St Johnstone to get there again.
“We obviously lost Jason Kerr and Ali McCann in the window and people were maybe a bit negative, but it just shows what a great team spirit I’ve got here and the character we have.
“We’re back at Hampden for another semi-final.”
Secret of their success
Davidson added: “I don’t know what the secret is but it has a lot to do with the spirit of the players.
“You should see how happy they are in the dressing room, all congratulating each other, even the ones who were not involved.
“Liam Gordon and Craig Bryson were injured and not able to play but they were just as delighted.
James Brown picked up a hamstring injury and is a doubt for Sunday’s game against Hibs.