The odds of saving a penalty are generally stacked against the goalkeeper, so you’d think a shot-stopper unable to dive due to a dislocated shoulder would have no chance of producing spot-kick heroics.
Clermiston Star goalkeeper Scott Gibson, however, can claim that he’s blown that theory well and truly out of the water.
The 24-year-old painter and decorator was the hero for the Clerrie outfit as they defeated Sandys AFC 3-0 on penalties after a remarkable 5-5 draw in the East of Scotland Cup.
Gibson had already saved one penalty in the shoot-out before his shoulder popped out of its socket as he saved Sandys’ second. Astonishingly, the shoulder was put back into place and despite the pain of his injury, he went back in goal for Sandys’ third penalty and saved it by nonchalantly booting it away,
“To be honest, I was considering coming off, but, after a quick chat with one of my team-mates, I decided to stay on and take a chance making a standing save to the right,” said Gibson.
“It was the first time I’ve saved some penalties in a while. I can’t remember the last time I saved one. It must have been well over a year ago.”
The drama of the shoot-out was preceded by a superb 120 minutes of football.
It began with Sandys starting the better of the two sides at Clermiston Park. However, the hosts grabbed the opening goal in the 35th minute. Pieyam Khosrowpour was chopped down just inside the box by keeper Graeme Lennie and Khosrowpour dusted himself off to convert the penalty.
The home side couldn’t make it to the break in front though, with Sandys scoring on the cusp of half time. A brilliant through-ball split the Clermiston defence wide open and Thomas Crease slotted past Gibson.
Both sides looked menacing after the interval, but it was Sandys who were the next to make their mark thanks to a superb individual goal from Robert Bennett. Cutting in from the right, he spun his marker and fired in at the near post.
The visitors then put the ball in their own net to cancel their lead as Darren Hainey inadvertently turned a long throw-in from David Lewis into his own net.
It didn’t dishearten Sandys and within minutes they were ahead for a third time in the game, Calum Gallagher pouncing on a loose ball following a save from Gibson to tap in.
At 3-2 ahead, the visitors must have thought they couldn’t let the lead slip again, but they were wrong. With 15 minutes remaining another penalty was awarded to Clermiston due to a handball and Khosrowpour took responsibility again, sending Lennie the wrong way to force extra time.
Sandys shot themselves in the foot in the opening period when Stewart Cotton was dismissed for a second yellow card, but incredibly it was his side that edged ahead after Bennett found the net once more. Then, five minutes later, they went 5-3 up when Bennett latched onto a long ball forward to fire past Gibson and complete his hat-trick.
Clermiston weren’t done with and when yet another penalty was awarded, Khosrowpour hammered it in to record his own treble. Then, in the dying minutes of added time, Sandys switched off at the back and Khosrowpour punished them with a poached effort for his fourth of the afternoon to make it 5-5.
Then came Gibson’s penalty heroics, culminating in the save with his feet from Robert Johnstone’s effort. It was a fitting end to a barmy yet highly entertaining game of football.
Clermiston Star: Scott Gibson, Graeme Stewart, Darren Russell, Grant Cullen, Jonathan Downie, David Lewis, Lee Greenan, Michael Parker, Pieyam Khosrowpour, Paul Kerr, Lee Heinemer, Robbie Simpson, Peter Haugen, Ryan Stevens, Jason Willis.
Sandys AFC: Robert Bennett, James Clarkson, Stewart Cotton, Ian Crease, Thomas Crease, Calum Gallagher, Darren Hainey, Steven Handren, James Hunter, Robert Johnstone, John Laidlaw, Graeme Lennie, Dale Miller, David Aitkenhead.