The 2014 League Cup final was a cathartic experience for Aberdeen.
Dons chairman Stewart Milne perhaps put it best at full time where the hysteria took hold in a now infamous post-final radio interview where he said “19 years, 120 minutes and now ******* penalties.”
You can probably work out the missing word for yourself.
Only the hardest of hearts would fail to forgive the normally stoic Milne from a momentary slip of the tongue but his inadvertent outburst succinctly summed up the emotions following Adam Rooney’s cup-winning spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out against Caley Thistle.
The final, at Parkhead, had been a nerve-shredding affair with chances few and far between in the 120 minutes which failed to produce a goal.
However, for Dons captain Russell Anderson, the unfolding drama at Celtic’s home stadium paled in significance to the nerves he felt in the semi-final rout of St Johnstone at Tynecastle.
He said: “I was more nervous for the semi-final than I was for the final. I felt at that stage it would be my last chance to get to a final and I was all too aware of how long it had been since we’d played in a final, never mind win one.
“I’d had issues with injuries in my career and I was more nervous for that game that any other one that season.
“What I remember of the final is the build-up and being aware of just how much more interest there was in the club and the city as a result of us reaching it.
“Every day we would come back from training and there was a queue down the street for tickets from the ticket office and as the build-up continued, the size of the support really brought home how big this was.
“The length of time since we’d been there, the fact so many fans could go and it was against Caley Thistle and not Rangers or Celtic meant everybody wanted to go.
“People came from all over the world for the game and the last thing any of us wanted was to leave that amount of people disappointed.
“The celebrations at Adam’s winning penalty were bigger than lifting the cup itself. The relief at that moment was unbelievable.”
Lifting the cup was clearly a great source of pride for Aberdonian Anderson, now retired from playing but still maintaining a presence in football as assistant manager at Formartine United in the Highland League.
But what was it about the 4-0 win against St Johnstone in the semi-final which proved so taxing?
He said: “I was on a booking before the game and the manager spoke to me about it. Without expressly saying it, he wanted to be sure if it came to it would I take one for the team and risk the yellow card which would keep me out of the final.
“Once I knew we’d won the game I was looking over to the dugout waiting for my number to go up so I could be substituted as I didn’t want to do something daft at that point which would keep me out of the final.
“The atmosphere at Tynecastle for the semi-final was the best I’ve ever played in. That sounds weird to say in a stadium which held less than 20,000 but honestly, you couldn’t hear yourself speak to the player next to you.”