Roll On Tuesday
Updated Monday, 16th April 2007
The bitter taste of defeat takes some time to disappear.
St Johnstone captain Kevin James knows he has a hangover. Not from any celebrations but from the disappointmnets of Saturday's loss to Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final. The First Division side werenot embarrassed by the SPL champions elect and arguably deserved at least a replay. Instead, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's double, one either side of a Stephen McManus own goal, was enough to send the Parkhead side into the May 26 final against either Hibs or Dunfermline - who will replay their semi-final after a goalless draw on Sunday.
James is particularly disconsolate at the manner of his side's capitulation to the overwhelming favourites. He went on: "Maybe by Tuesday I'll be able to take all the positives from the game. But that is difficult to do right now. We lost two scrappy goals from our point of view. You don't mind Celtic scoring if they cut you open, but they didn't and that was really annoying. They took the lead early on but in fairness we came right back at them. Celtic were there for the taking, but for all our huffing and puffing we couldn't get a second goal. But that's Celtic for you. With the players they have, they can turn a draw into a victory. They have done it so many times before."
James famously scored a Scottish Cup semi-final equaliser against Celtic 10 years ago when playing for Falkirk, with the Bairns going on to win the replay. And near the end of Saturday's game it looked like history could repeat itself, only for Artur Boruc to save from his powerful header. James said: "I actually didn't get up high enough. I might have to work on my jumping. That was a real chance. Next time, I'll just shut up my eyes and hope for the best. It was just another case of what might have been."