A 120 minute-plus white-knuckle ride with the club captain Andrew Considine yanking the levers. It was Considine who saved his team when they looked to be exiting in the closing minutes of normal time.
Then, just as they had pulled themselves back after being minutes from going out in extra-time, it was the mauarading Considine who forced the decisive own goal in the stoppage period.
In doing so, the defender brought to an end a remarkable sequence of see-saw scoring that resulted in six goals being netted in the final 33 minutes of an impossibly dramatic 4-3 victory.
“Almost a season definer,” was Considine’s take on a flip-flop he admitted was too dangeously closing to being simply a flop. “But it took us until the second half to really show that,” he added.
It has been the Pittodrie side’s way in this campaign to heap the pressure on manager Derek McInnes, who could ill-afford the meek 1-0 elimination they seemed on course for until Considine headed in an 88th-minute equaliser.
If McInnes was grateful to his longest serving player for that contribution, he couldn’t help but hit the hyperbole button when he compared Considine to Ryan Giggs with his gallop up the pitch in the final seconds – the reference being to the Manchester United winger’s fabled extra-time winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal in 1999.
Considine said: “I should have celebrated like him with my shirt off!
“I saw the ball coming and I knew I wanted to try to get it across the goal. I knew if I got a decent connection and got it in low and hard across the goal then there was every chance it might take a ricochet off something or someone. It hit the young lad [Connor Johnson]’s head and went in. The relief on the faces of us players and the fans you could see, because it was massive for us.
“We are going through a rough patch. But, in the last three games, I think we have shown what we can do. We have a fantastic squad but we need to get back on the rails. In the last two or three games I think we have managed that.”
McInnes was able to celebrate with an away support which, only three weeks ago, were calling for his head following a scoreless draw at St Mirren. The venue which will now be the scene for the clubs’ Scottish Cup quarter-final meeting next weekend.
The turnaround was declared “huge” by Considine. He said: “Coming off at half-time we could hear the boos, so we knew something had to change.
“We have done it the hard way but I would like to think we have put a smile back on the smiles of our support. There were a lot of them who turned out for us on Wednesday night and that doesn’t go unnoticed, far from it.”
It cannot go unnoticed either that despite their travails – they have only one win in 90 minutes in seven games – they are precisely where they want to be in occupying third in the Premiership and within one win of another major occasion at Hampden.
“I feel if we had played the way we are now earlier we would have been out of sight of Motherwell,” added Considine. “We have made it hard for ourselves over the last couple of months but we are sort of in the driving seat at the minute.
“If we can continue this form and ruthlessness in front of goal we will finish behind Rangers and Celtic but can hopefully have a good run in the cup as well.”
McInnes, whose side will entertain Ross County tomorrow, requires the best possible outcomes.
But Considine rejects the notion that his manager needed Aberdeen’s Rugby Park heroics more than anyone else at the club.
“For everyone involved, it has been massive. We have all been under a lot of scrutiny recently. I know the manager is going to take the brunt of that. But before the Hamilton game [won 3-1 last midweek] we all sat down after lunch and he had a real go at us. We knew we hadn’t been playing well enough, that the performances hadn’t been good enough and that something needed to change. And I felt that conversation has changed things, for him, for all of us. The manager has been absolutely brilliant since he came in. He has lifted this club back to where it should be - reaching finals, in Europe every year. “