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St Johnstone: Anderson’s relief over semi hurdle

Steven Anderson, Stevie May and David Wotherspoon celebrate at the end with fans after winning Sunday's Scottish Cup semi final. Picture: Robert Perry

Steven Anderson, Stevie May and David Wotherspoon celebrate at the end with fans after winning Sunday's Scottish Cup semi final. Picture: Robert Perry

STEVEN Anderson achieved a career-long dream by reaching the final of the William Hill Scottish Cup final with St Johnstone but insists glory can only come with victory over Dundee United in the May 17 final at Celtic Park.

The 28-year-old stopper, in his testimonial year having joined Saints in 2004, had featured in three losing semi-finals of the competition - as well as a 4-0 Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat by Aberdeen at the start of February - before the Perth club’s 2-1 win over the Dons at Ibrox on Sunday.

Niall McGinn’s opener for the Pittodrie men after 15 minutes looked ominous for St Johnstone who had lost their previous seven semi-finals but they fought back after the break with a brace from forward Stevie May which took the Tayside club into its first Scottish Cup final 130 years after being formed.

However, Anderson said there is one step to go before Tommy Wright’s team become McDiarmid Park heroes.

“It was about time I won a semi-final because there is a few that I have missed out on,” he said.

“It was nice to get a win and rectify the League Cup semi-final defeat against Aberdeen, especially after having to come back from 1-0 down.

“We had to chase the game and Stevie May and Steven MacLean caused them a lot of bother, both played really well and they got us up the park and Stevie getting the two goals was excellent.

“So it is good getting to a final but if you want to be a hero, you have to win something, a bit of silverware and hopefully we can do that in the final.”

MacLean reiterated Anderson’s belief that simply getting to the final is not enough.

“It is great for us and we have to enjoy it but it is important that we concentrate on the league now,” the 31-year-old striker said.

“There are cup final spots to play for and we have a cup final to win.

“We are not going there to make up the numbers, we are going there to try to beat Dundee United.

“It is a really good Dundee United team but we showed that we are a cracking team and if we play well we are a hard team to beat.

“It will be a great occasion but it is important that we play the match and not the occasion and I am sure we will.”

MacLean hopes he has not lost a friend in Aberdeen skipper Russell Anderson after their battle at Ibrox which was just one intriguing aspect of an exciting contest.

The former Sheffield Wednesday, Cardiff and Plymouth forward, who had a loan spell at Pitodrie in 2010, said: “We battered each other from pillar to post but at the end of the day that’s football.

“I know Russell quite well and I was probably a bit horrible to him.

“But you shake hands at the end and hopefully he is still my mate - whether he is or not, I don’t know.

“To come from 1-0 down against a side like Aberdeen showed our character.

“It is a credit to everyone, not just the starting 11; the substitutes, the boys who were injured - Gary McDonald, Tam Scobbie, Murray Davidson, they all had their part to play - the gaffer, the coaching staff, the chairman, everybody.

“I know we don’t have the biggest support but the three or four thousand who were down there were outstanding and I am chuffed for them.

“We spoke about Aberdeen going ahead and to stay in the game if they did. The last time (in the League Cup semi-final) we chased the game too early.

“We kept playing our game and we knew our chances would come and with Stevie May, you know that he will stick them away.”

 

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