Aberdeen's win over Celtic in the quarterfinal counted for nothing today as they crashed out of the cup to first division Queen of the South in a dramatic game at Hampden. Goals from Tosh and Considine had the game standing at 1-1 at the interval but it burst into life after the break with five goals in a nine-minute spell. Queen's went ahead again in the 51st minute through Burns before Nicholson levelled a minute later. O'Connor then made it 3-2 in the 56th minute before Considine grabbed his second of the game in the 59th minute. Aberdeen remained level for only 60 seconds as ex-Don John Stewart popped up to score what proved to be the winner. Diamond hit the woodwork twice in the space of three seconds but they didn't have enough guile to break down the Doonhamers again. Queen of the South now deservedly go on to the final while Aberdeen go home to think of what might have been.
Queen of the South got the game underway at a noisy Hampden Stadium and the Dumfries side were first to threaten when they won a free kick in the second minute but Soutar comfortably claimed the delivery. A second free kick followed a minute later but Diamond was on hand to clear the danger. There was another moment of danger in the third minute when Soutar came out and hit a clearance against the onrushing forward, but fortunately the ball rebounded for a goal kick. Aberdeen had made a nervous start but Miller did try to release Maguire in the 6th minute but the pass was overcooked and a minute later it required a great tackle from captain Thomson to halt Maguire.
MacDonald comfortably held a Miller header before Foster broke on the right and delivered a telling cross that was booted clear. Maybury looked to have been caught late as he fired over in the 12th minute before Burns fired wide at the other end. Diamond was forced to block a Burns effort in the 18th minute before Aberdeen raced forward and had the Queen's defence troubled for the first time in the match. Aluko fed the ball to Miller after he picked up a poor clearance in the 20th minute. The striker in turn laid it back to Severin who had his shot blocked by two defenders. Two minutes later Queen's won a free kick that produced the opener.
The ball was floated in and Soutar could only palm it away. The defence was then slow to react and the ball was played back for ex-Don Stevie Tosh to fire it into the net with the keeper stranded. Aberdeen tried to hit back and put the first division side under pressure as once again they made life difficult for themselves. Burns had the ball in the Aberdeen net again in the 29th minute but he was well offside. Seconds later the Queens keeper had a comfortable save from a Miller header. On the half hour mark Aluko showed great skill as he hit the bye line and swung in a great cross. Unfortunately no one had gone to the back post and the chance was gone.
Aberdeen were piling on the pressure now but were almost caught on the break in the 32nd minute but they eventually scrambled it clear through Aluko. A free kick from Aluko in the 34th minute went fizzing wide of the target before Aberdeen levelled two minutes later. Lee Miller won a free kick that was floated in by Nicholson. Goal hero Tosh made a poor headed clearance and Severin nodded the ball back across goal for Considine to head past MacDonald. A minute later Maguire was flagged offside when TV pictures showed he had timed his run perfectly.
Alan Maybury had to look sharp in the 43rd minute to feed the ball back to Soutar and seconds later Considine made a great challenge as Queen's looked to break on the edge of the box. Another ex-Don joined the party just before the interval as John Stewart replaced the injured Dobbie. Queen's finished the half well and Aluko had to chase back in the final minute to deny McCann. Maguire was then caught late in the dying seconds but no award was forthcoming and both players went for the break as the rain lashed down.
Jimmy resisted the temptation to make any changes at the interval and it was Queen's who regained the lead four minutes into the second half. John Stewart broke on the left and delivered a dangerous cross. Burns initially missed the ball, but had time to regain composure, turn round and drive the ball into the net without being closed down by any defenders. The game burst into life after this goal and Maguire broke on the right and fired a shot across the face of the goal where Aluko picked up, but could only deliver the ball back into the hands of the keeper. A minute later Queen's almost made it three when Burns fired over from close range. The Dons supporters were celebrating when they levelled in the 52nd minute.
The Queen's defence didn't look too clever as Nicholson was given too much space and drilled the ball past the keeper. The Dons joy was short lived as Queen's went ahead for the third time as O'Connor showed composure to control the ball, beat his marker and drill it past Soutar. A minute later Miller headed wide then Aberdeen levelled for a third time. Queen's failed to clear a corner and Nicholson collected the ball wide and delivered a cross. Miller flicked the ball across goal and Considine was at the back post to score his second of the game. Aberdeen only managed to remain level for a minute as Queen's raced to the other end and scored a fourth.
A deep cross to the back post found ex-Don John Stewart and he took great delight in drilling the ball past Soutar. This appeared to take the stuffing out of the Dons as Mackie replaced McNamara. Queen's then twice went close to increasing their lead as the Dons lost their way for a spell. Aluko swung in a dangerous cross in the 69th minute but it was booted clear before McCann collected the first yellow of the game for dragging Aluko to the ground. From the resulting free kick the Dons were twice denied by the woodwork. Diamond first headed against the bar then steered the rebound on to the post. Severin then fired wide and Aluko had a low shot saved.
A Severin throw in was cleared in the 76th minute then Queen's found their second wind and Aberdeen struggled to clear as Diamond was forced into an important block to deny Queen's a fifth. Derek Young replaced Maybury in the 80th minute and seconds later Severin fired wide as time started to run out for the Dons. Aluko appeared to be brought down inside the box in the 84th minute but Kenny Clark waved appeals away. Two minutes later a Foster throw in was flicked on but Severin headed straight at the keeper. With time running out Queen's were keeping the ball at the Aberdeen end and Kenny Clark awarded one soft free kick after another.
Aluko and Diamond combined well in the 90th minute but they couldn't produce the final killer ball. Seconds later MacDonald made a save at full stretch from Diamond as Aberdeen desperately looked for a fourth equaliser. That time ran out on Aberdeen and it was the first division side that deservedly won their place in the final as Aberdeen blew their chance of a cup final appearance for the second time this season.