It was a little over nine months ago that Aberdeen first began their expectancy of a trip to Fir Park.
Last night it was finally delivered, with nobody permitted in support. Motherwell; child less so. The wait was not a healthy one.
Friday the 13th of March ought to have been the date of the Dons’ last trip to this venue, but the portentous date was at its ill-fated worst.
Mere hours before kick-off all football in Scotland was suspended, gatherings of 500 or more having been outlawed.
The days when even that many people could still congregate will feel like a lifetime ago to those who will spend their Christmas apart from loved ones; an indication of how thoroughly and how quickly our way of life has changed in a mere 40 weeks.
The isolation and disconnection will be felt all the more keenly at a time when we customarily celebrate family, love and hope.
Against that backdrop, the frippery of football is not of fundamental importance to society.
But perhaps, for some, its continued existence – even in this somewhat straitened form – will be the Christmas star which guides them through a period of darkness.
Matches during this period often engender an atmosphere all their own, as families and friends scattered by life’s winds briefly come back together for an annual outing to the football.
This year the game’s uniquely unifying ability will be displayed in a different, more urgent way, their club’s four festive fixtures being one of the few things keeping some folk afloat in a time of unprecedented loneliness.
All of us know people, even in good times, starved of human interaction. All of us are guilty of not giving them our time.
Please check in on them this Christmas. Though a small thing to you, it may be life-changing to them.