STEVIE MAY said his winning brace in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final was made more satisfying by the abuse directed at him by the Aberdeen support before and during the game.
The St Johnstone forward scored twice in the second period to cancel out Niall McGinn's first-half opener and send the Perthshire club to the final of the competition for the first time in their 130-year history.
He was targeted by Aberdeen supporters in the League Cup semi-final at Tynecastle in February, which St Johnstone lost 4-0, and was subjected to chants of "Who the **** is Stevie May?" throughout yesterday's encounter at Ibrox.
However, the 21-year-old enjoyed the last laugh in guiding his local club to an historic meeting with Dundee United on May 17.
"I don't know why the Aberdeen fans have it in for me," he said. "I think they just don't like my hair or something. That would be my guess. It's obviously just banter, but scoring the goals to beat them made it that little bit sweeter. Coming from behind made it a bit sweeter too.
"A lot of people wrote us off before the game and probably even more so when we fell a goal behind at half-time. I think we outplayed them in the second half. They play on the counter, which can be deceiving, but there was only going to be one winner after our first goal.
"I can't quite describe what it means. The fact I'm a local boy and fan makes it even better. It's the first time St Johnstone have been to a Scottish Cup final so it does mean that little bit more."
Meanwhile, team-mate Chris Millar took aim at BBC TV pundit and former Scotland and Chelsea winger Pat Nevin for writing off Tommy Wright's team.
"Macca (Steven MacLean) and I were in the hotel watching Sportscene on Saturday night and Pat Nevin was saying it was a cakewalk, an Aberdeen-Dundee United final, before a ball was kicked," he said. "Football doesn't work like that. I thought it was a wee bit disrespectful. We used that and we said we were going to mention it if we won. It is motivation and, when you win, you want to ram it down people's throats. Write us off at your peril because we're a good side.
"Reaching the final means everything to me and it's been a long time coming. It is the highest point of my career. I've won the Third, Second and First Division and been to semi-finals, but getting to a final is another thing ticked off on my list and we want to win it now.
"This was my fifth semi-final and the first one I'd won. I passed my driving test at the fifth time of asking as well, so it's lucky for me. I never gave up believing."
Millar shared May's view that Aberdeen lost heart following St Johnstone's first goal. "You looked in the eyes of the Aberdeen players and knew they were beaten," said Millar. "They were flat on their feet and no-one was geeing them up."
Niall McGinn, the Aberdeen scorer, rued his team's missed opportunities. "On the day we had better chances," said the Northern Irishman. "We know we should have been more clinical."
The striker was hampered by the glare of the floodlights when he tried to head home a cross in the second half, adding: "It was a great ball in. I was looking at the ball and my eyes caught a bit of the lights."
With one final twist of the knife, May, hero of the hour and a player being watched by a number of clubs south of the border, reflected on being strongly linked with becoming an Aberdeen player last summer after interest from Pittodrie.
"There was something at the start of the season when my loan was coming to an end at Hamilton, but I don't know any of the details or if it was just talk," he said. "I was always going to stay at St Johnstone. I just wanted confirmation that I would be playing and I'm very happy here."