Paddy Martin brushes off praise after Hibs loanee stars for Stenhousemuir
Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Paddy Martin was delighted to be named man-of-the-match in yesterday’s 4-0 Scottish Cup defeat by Kilmarnock but the humble Hibs loanee paid tribute to his team-mates insisting it wasn’t a one-man show.
Kyle Lafferty netted a hat-trick and George Oakley scored a late fourth as Tommy Wright’s men booked their place in the draw for the fourth round but the 21-year-old shot-stopper made several saves to keep the scoreline respectable, eliciting praise from Killie fans as well as Warriors supporters.
Martin, who is contracted to the Capital club until the summer of 2022, denied Mitch Pinnock, Gary Dicker, and Alan Power in the first period, and kept out two efforts from Aaron Tshibola late in the game, including an impressive one-handed save from a 25-yard free-kick heading for the postage stamp.
The former St Johnstone youngster is enjoying his second loan spell away from Easter Road, having spent time with Lowland League side Gala Fairydean Rovers during the 2018/19 season.
While Martin has only featured once as an unused substitute for the Hibs first-team, in a 4-0 win at Ayr United in April 2017, he has been between the sticks for ten of Stenhousemuir's 12 league matches this term as well as three Scottish Cup ties and two Betfred Cup group matches and regularly wins plaudits for his performances.
His display even prompted a handful of Killie fans on social media to suggest the Rugby Park side should take a look at him but speaking after the game to Stenhousemuir’s in-house TV channel, Martin brushed off the compliments while agreeing that Stenny had performed well against top-tier opposition.
"It was always going to be a tough test against a Scottish Premiership team," Martin said. "They're a good side, they moved the ball really well, and kept it away from us.
"I think all we can do is be happy with our effort. It was always going to be tough but I think we gave a good account of ourselves."
Asked about his efforts in keeping the scoreline down Martin insisted the ten players in front of him – including Hibs colleagues Callum Yeats and Jayden Fairley, who made a second-half substitute appearance – had played just as important a role.
"It started in the first half with Mark [McGuigan] and Botti [Bia-Bi] stopping them from coming out and playing, and forcing them into positions where they might not be so comfortable.
"It's very much a team effort, it's not just me making the saves.”
Davie Irons’ side now face a daunting run of four games in seven days as they look to progress up the table, and Martin is hopeful that the Warriors can pick up a few points when they travel to Brechin City on Tuesday April 6 before an Ochilview triple-header against Cowdenbeath on Thursday April 8, Queen’s Park on Saturday April 10, and Elgin on Tuesday April 13 ahead of the final game of the season away to Annan Athletic on Tuesday April 20.
Martin continued: "The run coming up is going to be really tough but we've got a big squad and plenty of good players so hopefully we can come out and get a couple of wins because I think we really need them if we want to reach those play-off places.”