Penalties are Pars soft spotMonday, 5th Dec 2016
"I was pretty confident that he was going to score, then the second time I was even more confident.
Paul McMullan felt that it as harsh on his team when Lewis Martin was sent off just three minutes into the second half and Ayr equalised from the resultant penalty kick. Paul explained:-
"Ayr had a spell after the red card but we re-grouped and got ourselves together. Obviously the two penalty misses at the end leaves you with a bit of a sour feeling.
"I don`t think the referee knew he had already shown Lewis Martin a yellow card. He went to his book and one of their players said that he had already been booked. He has had to send him off. The penalty was soft as it was and to send somebody off for that ruined the game."
The 20 year old who is on a season long loan from Celtic commiserated with Kallum Higginbotham after the game as he claimed that he had never missed a penalty in his professional career:-
"When he missed two in two minutes it left him heart broken. All the boys got round him. Other than the two penalty misses I thought Higgy was brilliant. It is just something that happens and it is unfortunate that it happened to him."
It is easy in retrospect to suggest that maybe it is advisable to change your penalty taker if he has already missed one in a match. When Kallum Higginbotham saw the opportunity, so soon after seeing his penalty saved, to make amends for that miss, it was too great to resist.
The Pars man was cut down by Paddy Boyle and was determined that he had earned the right to take the Pars second penalty. Paul continued:-
"When I saw him pick the ball up I was pretty confident that he was going to score, then the second time I was even more confident. It is one of those things."
Ayr United keeper Greg Fleming was at Stenhousemuir when Paul was on loan there from January 2015 and his penalty saves were notable then. Since joining Ayr for season 2015-2016 Fleming has now saved 14 out of 16 of the penalties he has faced.
"I saw him save a couple at Stenhousemuir, I knew what he was capable of but I was hoping that he wasn`t going to do it against us."
Penalties apart there were a number of other chances that fell to the ten men with McMullan having his fair share of them too.
"I had a couple of opportunities and am disappointed for not hitting the target. I had one on my left and not on my right. I caught it well but it was another good save from Greg. Down to ten men the boys dug in really well."
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