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I’d hit a few penalties for Motherwell and scored, so striking the ball from 12 yards didn’t really worry me, but this game was different.
It was 6-5 to Hibernian and Craig Brown threw me on with 10 minutes to go in a match that was going from one end of the ground to the other at a hundred miles an hour. The stadium was buzzing!
We were awarded a penalty with three minutes remaining and my first thought was, I am grabbing this ball. I had missed a penalty at Hamilton Accies in a previous game, but I thought this one can get me back on track.
I’ve stepped up to take it with Graeme Smith in goal for Hibs. I was with him at Motherwell when we were younger, so he obviously knew where I was going to hit it! He saved it and I thought, oh my God! I just wanted the ground to swallow me up, I wanted to walk right off the park.
Thankfully, there was still time left for Lucas Jutkiewicz to hit a wonder goal from the left hand edge of the box into the roof of the net to make it 6-6.
When the ball hit the net, the roof came off the stadium with the noise, all I could think was thank f*** for that, he’s saved me getting a rollicking from Craig Brown and Archie Knox.
My Mum and Dad go to every single and I dread to think what was going through their mind when I missed the penalty.
I still stay in touch with guys like Stevie Hammell and Keith Lasley and there’s no doubt we will remember that game for ever.
I always remember manager Craig Brown offered me one bit of advice after the game. Never take a penalty if you come on as a sub. He said he never felt subs were ready to take penalties. I wish he’d told me that before I ran on!Back to The Football Family
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