The Roar has faded into the air. The stadium is smaller and so now are the expectations.
Last night was an occasion to be grateful for small mercies. The smallest of them was Barry Bannan as he made a contribution in inverse proportion to his size.
The result, though, was of huge significance not just to Craig Levein and his staff but the players on the pitch and in the stand. It is perfectly understandable that the Scotland manager “talks up” his players. It is wonderful that the team has a bond, a vibrant camaraderie.
But those of us who remember when there was a Tory Party in Scotland and a quiet snug opposite the McLellan Galleries cling to this outdated notion that the odd victory should not be a matter of disdain.
The notion that football can be measured by anything other than points is the last refuge of the manager with a poor record. Levein knows this, even if his words suggest the opposite.
This was an important night for the Scotland manager. Steven Naismith required the entire width of the goal to convert Bannan’s cross from six yards out. It was a thing of beauty for Levein.
It followed a first half that served as a 45-minute sampler of Scotland’s latest perfume. It had hints of promise but only the scent of something substantial. It was almost lost on the wind.
This was sensed by the crowd who could not muster the Roar of ages past but managed to give what should be described as broad approval rather than screaming support.
The first loud cheer -- it was a roar in much the same way as a mouse has a baritone -- was mustered midway through the first half. It was in recognition of a ghost from the past. Salius Mikoliunas failed to control a ball and it went out for a throw-in. It was greeted by the sort of acclaim that suggested that Kevin Blom of the Netherlands had just had his car towed.
Mikoliunas, of course, played the lead role in the first production of The Great Hampden Cheating Bathplug when he dived in 2007. He made his entrance yesterday on the stage of Jan Rezek, who starred in the remake and was awarded not an Oscar but a penalty by Mr Blom.
The crowd and the Scottish team were marked by the draw against the Czechs. Hampden was far from full and the team was tentative in the first half after a bright opening faded under the lights.
Bannan, David Goodwillie and Don Cowie were the most vibrant, possibly only feeling the pain of the Czech disappointment as interested bystanders rather than bleeding victims. Cowie, of course, did make a brief appearance on Saturday but his faith in his ability was unmarked and his work efficient and generally tidy.
Bannan, who is so small he makes Xavi look like a basketball guard, made a number of assured interventions and his free kick led to Scotland’s penalty when Tadas Labukas handled.
Darren Fletcher, who has now equalled Denis Law’s accumulation of 55 caps, reverted to the national underachievement template by having his penalty saved by Zydrunas Karcemarskas. With five goals, he remains 25 behind that notched by the greatest Scottish striker of all time.
If Law would have winced at the miss, he would have recognised the struggle. It is now forgotten that his generation found major finals almost a curiosity rather than a regular date in the calendar.
This generation similarly find European Championships and World Cup finals as an ideal time to book a holiday rather than assemble in blazer and tie for a flight into sporting history.
Despite last night’s welcome victory, there will be no clamour by the Tartan Army this morning to check out hotels in Poland or Ukraine. Their joy was genuine but measured. This was a night to murmur in quiet approval at moments, rather than being swept away by a cohesive performance.
Goodwillie was just short of reaching a few passes, set up Cowie for a chance that should have been converted, and was not lacking in confidence. His fluorescent boots served to guide in stricken aircraft and suggest he is no shy youngster.
Those who made their competitive debuts can be satisfied with their night’s work but there was the occasional and predictable lapse by the more experienced players. Gary Caldwell, for example, was fortunate to watch Deividas Semberas squander an opportunity after the Wigan defender gave away possession in the first half.
For the rest, Lithuania posed a severely restricted challenge despite the obligatory late surge. But we won. This was not a phenomenon likely to resurrect the Hampden Roar of vast terraces and vaster kerry-oots, but it was more than enough to precipitate a mass clearing of throats.
Bannan left the field six minutes early to a chorus of cheers and a chant of his name. Mikoliunas had by then been substituted to the unrestrained acclaim of the Tartan Army.
One diver had gone but the good ship Scotland is still some way from the safe shore of major finals. Levein, though, is in calmer waters.