Martin laughing with late call for LewisMonday, 4th Dec 2017
"We were doing well stopping them playing and getting up tight against them so that they couldn`t play.
Lewis Martin was delighted to make what was just his second start since 9th August. He was ever present for the opening six games of the season but has had to wait for his chance in recent months.
His opportunity came on Saturday as a combination of circumstances worked in his favour. After Fraser Aird and Dean Shiels got caught up in a match day traffic delay on the A9, Lewis was drafted in to face Dundee United. He explained how the decision to play a different style worked in his favour:-
"We were working on that formation during the week and we obviously didn`t know who was going to be starting. It was between me and Dean Shiels, I wasn`t meant to be starting but Deano was late.
"I just found out 45 minutes before the game that I would be starting.
They joined us during the warm up but the gaffer had already put me in." He was told:- "Go out warm up right and try and start the game right. It was good I really enjoyed it so hopefully I can stay in the team for next game."
The defender was deployed in midfield and he put in a real box to box contribution throughout. He continued:-
"I thought we were the better team in the first half. Obviously it was two sloppy goals to lose from our point but in the second half the boys gave everything they could and we were disappointed not to get the draw in the end.
"We were doing well stopping them playing and getting up tight against them so that they couldn`t play. That was our game plan and it worked."
The plan was dented when United took the lead in fifteen minutes, Scott Fraser scoring direct from a free kick 25 yards out. Lewis continued:-
"They scored from the free kick but we still battled away and were unlucky in the end."
If the Pars could have seen it through to the interval at 1-0 there would have been a better chance in the second half but they lost another goal with just three minutes until half time.
"I don`t know what happened at the second goal. It was just a throw in and they shouldn`t score from a throw in, so it was sloppy from our point of view."
In every one of his 102 previous Dunfermline starts and at U19 and U20 level Lewis has always been played in the back four. He commented on his midfield role which the manager had sent him out to play in his last appearance off the bench at Hampden against Queens Park:-
"I have not really done that before. A few times during a game I have moved to that position for the last ten minutes but the last time I started there was have been when I was a 15 year old at Rangers."
The last time Lewis Martin appeared on the scoresheet was on 10th January 2015 when he struck a late equaliser at Forthbank. He came close to scoring what would have been his fourth senior goal son Saturday, trying several shots from outside the box, a header on a crossed ball in the first half and close to a Williamson cross in the second. He continued:-
"I was trying and felt that I could have probably have done better with the header but I was stretching and it was hard to get it on target."
The 21 year old felt comfortable with his new found role, made possible in part by personal dedication:-
"This year I have been working hard on my fitness. I came back one of the fittest for pre season. I have not usually been that so I have kept it up and it has paid off."
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- Managers Post Dundee United
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- Manager on Thursday