On this day in 2006 St Johnstone travelled to Glasgow to meet Rangers in the Quarter Finals of the Scottish League Cup.
Two second half goals from striker Steven Milne would give First Division Saints a memorable victory over their more illustrious opponents.
In the previous rounds Saints had seen off East Fife 3 – 1, Elgin City 4 – 0 after extra time, and in the 3rd Round, Premier League Dundee United 3 – 0, all at McDiarmid Park.
Going into the match Manager Owen Coyle said that his team would approach the match with an attacking philosophy and would not just defend. With this in mind he selected the following team: – Bryn Halliwell, Andy Lawrie, Goran Stanic, Simon Mensing, Allan McManus, Steven Anderson, Paul Lawson, Martin Hardie, Steven Milne, Jason Scotland, Paul Sheerin. Subs: – Kevin Cuthbert, Peter MacDonald, Darren Sheridan, Andy Jackson, Willie Dyer.
From the kick off Rangers went straight on the attack but the nearest to a goal came on 14 minutes when a Paul Sheerin free kick almost found Martin Hardie. Then Jason Scotland had a shot saved by Alan McGregor.
On 25 minutes a nice one – two between Steven Milne and Jason Scotland created a chance but a last ditch tackle thwarted the striker as he prepared to shoot.
At half time there was no scoring but Saints had been equal to their opponents in every department.
The match resumed with Saints in the ascendancy and Scotland had a great chance when put through by a superb Simon Mensing pass but the Trinidad and Tobago Internationalist fired straight at the keeper.
However, the inevitable was only delayed. And what a goal. The 1,000 Saints fans in the 31,074 crowd went delirious as ‘Savo’ scored with a fantastic overhead kick after Mensing had headed on a Sheerin cross. 1 – 0 Saints.
Rangers had clearly been stung by this reverse and piled on pressure in an effort to get the equaliser. But it was Milne again in 68 minutes when he outpaced the Rangers defence to collect a long ball from Mensing and, keeping his composure, fired a low shot past McGregor from 12 yards. 2 – 0 to Saints.
Milne’s pace again took him clear of the Rangers defenders but he just couldn’t to get a good connection when inside the box or it might have been his hat trick.
Saints survived a late scare when Allan McManus had to clear a Kris Boyd effort off the line but it would have been a travesty if Rangers had scored.
Steven Milne’s performance that night deservedly earned him the CIS Player of the Round award.
This was the first time Saints had won at Ibrox in over 35 years. A fantastic night.
In the semi finals Saints would meet Hibs at Tynecastle.
Steven Milne made 119 starts plus 35 substitute appearances. He scored 54 goals which places him as 18th in the Saints all time Goalscorers list.
No doubt that night at Ibrox will still be high in his career memories. It certainly is in Saints fans memories.