Derek McInnes will have been among those sporting a rueful smile at news of his instant impact here. If only, if only … Aberdeen completed a club record run without a goal and parted ways with McInnes while the blond winger was sidelined. After coming on for Niall McGinn on 70 minutes, Hedges took just four minutes to slam a first-time shot into the net.
Cometh the hour, cometh the hairband. The blond winger’s goal ended up proving the decisive goal as Aberdeen secured fourth place and European football for next season while making an advance on Hibs in third place.
It will be something of a personal triumph for Glass, if weeks into his reign, he can deposit Aberdeen back behind Rangers and Celtic – it is, after all, where they were expected to finish. Aberdeen now have a mini-cup final against Hibs a week on Wednesday at Pittodrie.
After their recent Scottish Cup epic, this was another very watchable meeting between Livingston and Aberdeen. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who scored a double that evening a fortnight ago, volleyed home the goal of the game with ten minutes left.
The forward is certainly putting together a very impressive showreel. Although Glass won’t appreciate being on the receiving end, he will surely note what the big striker can bring. Livingston manager David Martindale has already admitted Emmanuel-Thomas will leave this summer. They are due a fee if he moves to another club in either England or Scotland. Whether Aberdeen would be prepared to pay one is another matter.
"Big Jay will be away in the summer,” explained Martindale. “I’ve spoken with Jay and we have a gentleman’s agreement. He can’t activate the extra automatic clause so I have said to the big man, look go and give us everything you’ve got and he’s looking to get away. I am more than happy to do that. He will be away in the summer but I have spoken about that before.
"He has offers in Thailand, Asia and China. We only have Jay because of Covid. He had to come back because of the pandemic and the wages the big man can earn elsewhere … I would not keep him here, I would not do that to him, I would not try to. We have a gentleman’s agreement he will be away at the end of the season and if he goes to a club in England or Scotland we would be due a fee. I am more than happy to do that for the big guy.”
As for Aberdeen, the three strikers Glass is currently rotating are all on loan and only one, Callum Hendry, seems to stand a chance of being kept on. Hendry’s tap-in seven minutes after half-time after Connor McLennan’s header was tipped onto the bar by Max Stryjek was his third goal since joining from St Johnstone in January.
Florian Kamberi showed up better here and even dispensed with the gloves about twenty minutes in. He set-up Hedges, who swept home with a first-time left-footed effort.
Martindale does not even wear a suit for a cup final so we should be surprised he watched this clash in a pair of jeans and sweatshirt. Opposite number Glass is still re-acclimatising to both the pace of the Scottish game and the temperature. He was more sensible and wore a coat even before the heavens opened
Martindale’s outfit – he didn’t quite carry it off like Pep Guardiola – did convey a certain end-of-term insouciance, although one could never accuse the Livingston manager of not caring enough.
Martindale was particularly upset about referee Grant Irvine’s failure to award a penalty in the dying moments when the ball looked to have struck young defender Jack MacKenzie's hand.
He was as loud as ever on a chilly first day in May and his team were certainly not taking things easy – with St Johnstone beating Hibs, they can’t afford to. Livingston face a battle to stay fifth when not so long ago, third seemed possible.
“I will be bitterly disappointed if we finish sixth, if I am honest,” added Martindale. “We have done enough throughout the season to finish fifth, but we have to fight tooth and nail now.”