BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
GREG FLEMING insists he was more surprised than anyone to emerge as the penalty hero on his return to Dunfermline – after the Ayr United goalkeeper revealed he is a spot-kick sieve in training.
The 30-year-old, born-and-bred in Fife and a former Pars player, enjoyed an unforgettable afternoon at East End Park, saving two penalties in the space of a minute from the unfortunate Kallum Higginbotham.
It ensured Ayr claimed a 1-1 draw from a breathless clash with Dunfermline, who finished the contest with 10 men following Lewis Martin’s second red card in four matches.
“It was some finish to the game,” smiled Fleming after goals from Nicky Clark and Alan Forrest saw the spoils shared.
“There’s a few boys in training that like to do a lot of practice and, honestly, I’m absolutely brutal – I go the wrong way every time.
“But I saw Kallum take a penalty against Hibs and I saw which way he went, so you have got to back yourself to get there.
“After saving the first one, it becomes a gamble that he won’t go the same way. Thankfully I’ve managed to get a strong hand on them and made the saves.”
It was a case of deja vu for the Pars, who saw Dundee United’s Cammy Bell save a historic hat-trick of penalties at East End Park earlier this season.
“Kallum wears his heart on his sleeve and he was absolutely devastated,” said Pars winger Paul McMullan. “He was telling us in the dressing room: he’s never missed a penalty in his pro career. To miss two in a minute, he was heart-broken.”