Deniz saves the day as Dunfermline edge past Morton

Dunfermline goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet was the hero on Saturday, saving a late penalty to preserve a 1-0 win over Morton. The 31-year-old felt he was fouled by George Oakley in the build-up to the penalty, but put that sense of injustice aside to make a crucial save.

“I felt I was fouled before the penalty. It is what it is and the referee’s not seen it,” Deniz said. “If he’s going for the ball then he’s nowhere near me but he’s gone into me. Thankfully I managed to save the penalty and we got the right outcome in the end.”

It was the Pars keeper’s third consecutive penalty save, all within the space of a month, following keeping out Raith Rovers Callum Smith and Inverness Caley Thistle’s Billy McKay.  However he hopes to avoid facing any more from the spot. “It’s a good habit to have but I don’t want to be facing any more penalties,” he said with a laugh when asked if he has a secret for saving them. “I just dive the right way and hope for the best and pray.”

The win lifts Dunfermline up to fifth in the tight league table, keeping their playoff hopes alive. “The table is so tight. We were down the wrong end but if you get a few half-decent results then you’ll climb it and go up,” Deniz said. “It’s good to be up the table but the job’s not done yet as it’s so tight.”

As you would suspect Deniz also had high praise for his defence after what was a physical battle. “It was a tough afternoon. A lot of teams come here and it’s a battle, it turns into a fight rather than a football game but the boys dug in really well for the whole 90 minutes. Fair play to the boys they did really well.”

Deniz was delighted to play his part with the vital penalty save but his own long-range effort in the first half almost made him an even bigger hero, his clearance bounced wide of the Morton goal

“I didn’t get too excited to be honest, just because I’m so far away you don’t know what’s going on. It was only when I saw Morton’s goalie Ryan turn around and start running back that I thought if it was on target then I’ve got a chance. It happened so quickly from when I realised what was going on that I didn’t have a chance to get excited.”

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