How former Hibs and Celtic boss Neil Lennon inspired Ryan Porteous in penalty thriller

Former Hibs manager Neil Lennon proved the inspiration behind Hibs match-winning penalty as the Easter Road outfit booked their fourth successive domestic cup semi-final.
Hibs defender Ryan Porteous is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring the winning penalty.Hibs defender Ryan Porteous is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring the winning penalty.
Hibs defender Ryan Porteous is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring the winning penalty.

Defender Ryan Porteous stepped up to convert the Leith side’s decisive fifth penalty and said his former gaffer’s words had been racing through his head as he volunteered.

“I have never taken a penalty for the first team, that was my first,” said the 22-year-old Scot.

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“But, I remember we played Aberdeen in the cup here and it went to penalties. I was the youngest in the team but after the game, Lennon came in and he started screaming at me and asking why I’d let the kid take the penalty. I was looking about and there was no-one younger than me, but he was meaning Thomas Agyepong.

“He said. ‘you are a man so step up and be a man in these high pressure moments’. That was going through my mind because ever since then I have been wanting to get back [to another shootout] and step up and put one away.

“I waited to see what way the goalie went and I saw him move early so put it in the other corner.”

Having been left to rue the outcome of two semi-finals this season, he admitted that there had been an element of fear when Motherwell fightback from 2-0 down but he said they were determined to see it out.

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And, his manager Jack Ross expressed pride and relief at the way his men were able to do that.

“For 80 minutes we were excellent, dominant and deserved to be in the position we were in,” said Ross.

‘But the last ten minutes to be fair to Graham [Alexander] and Motherwell they made changes and threw caution to the wind.

“They took better momentum and mentality into extra-time and, for us it was about re-setting. Then it becomes about carrying that character into the penalty shot-out and we showed that in abundance.

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"You need them to want to take them and Ryan was adamant. That's him as a character, as a young man he has a bit about him and, technically, he's a good player so there wasn't any concern about him under that sort of pressure.

“That's another test we've passed.”

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