Rhodes to penalties success just a gambleMonday, 8th Mar 2021
Andy Rhodes recalls how he set it up for Norrie McCathie to score the goal that would take Dunfermline to their first major final since 1968.
A former Pars goalkeeper maintains that saving penalties requires a huge element of luck. Renowned for some famous penalty saves in both his times with Dunfermline and St Johnstone, Andy Rhodes said:-
“It is just your luck in going the right way, there is not a lot of science in it. There is a little bit more in it now because you will have evidence of who has taken them them, which way they have gone before and the history of the penalty takers. At the end of the day you have to take a chance and hopefully they go that way.”
In an interview soon to be placed online by the Dunfermline Athletic Heritage Trust, Andy, now 56 years of age, talks about one of his most memorable penalty saves for the Pars. It came in September 1991 at Tynecastle when the Skol Cup semi final went to penalties after ending Dunfermline1 Airdrieonians 1 after extra time. Andy saved from Owen Coyle but after Craig Robertson also had his saved it got to two each as the final kicks were ready to be taken.
The penalty shoot out then became not just the Pars against the Diamonds but two business partners and former team mates John Watson then with Airdrie and Norrie McCathie the Dunfermline captain.
Andy set it up for Norrie to score the goal that would take Dunfermline to their first major final since 1968. He continued:-
“I thought John Watson would go with power but it is very difficult to go with power and go to a corner. So I stood up thinking if he is going to smack this he is going to be in my range and I’d be okay. That was my thinking with that one but ordinarily it is trying to get a bit of evidence of where they have taken them previous, gamble and hopefully they go that way.”
On 11th July 1990 Andy was signed for Dunfermline by Iain Munro with a fee of £80,000 being paid to Oldham Athletic. After 79 league games and several important cup appearances that culminated in the 1991 Skol Cup final, Andy left in June 1992 to join St Johnstone in a deal, totalling £300,000, that saw Lindsay Hamilton and Roddy Grant move to the Pars.
Andy related how much of a wrench it was for his family to leave Scotland, crossing the Forth Road Bridge with tears in their eyes as they left Cairneyhill, “I really loved working, playing and living up on Scotland” he added.
Andy, father of Scottish international striker, Jordan Rhodes, went on to become an accomplished goalkeeping coach serving at Oldham for two years, Ipswich Town for four years, Preston North End for two and Sheffield Wednesday for eight years.
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