Stephen Robinson has hailed his penalty shootout hero Trevor Carson after a dramatic Motherwell victory over Coleraine in the Europa League.
The Fir Park side were cruising during this one, leading 2-0 at half time against their Northern Irish opponents. But Oran Kearney’s men battled with courage and determination to claw this one back to 2-2 through a double from Ben Doherty, both strikes coming from the penalty spot.
The Steelmen would enter extra time with 10 men after Bevis Mugabi’s dismissal in the second penalty incident but Motherwell held on for penalties. It was here Carson would stand tall, saving all three penalties in some style to send his side into a tie with Israeli outfit Hapoel Be’er Sheva next week.
It’s been a long road to this point for the Northern Irish international, only getting back to regular gametime this season following a spell as number two after his horrific DVT injury. But boss Robinson says he deserves all the plaudits for facing the challenge and coming out brilliantly on the other side.
“Trevor Carson showed why he’s an international goalkeeper,” said Robinson. “He stepped up to the plate. It’s fitting that a Northern Ireland goalkeeper gets us through to the next round on Irish soil.
“He’s shown resilience to get back to what he was after what he’s been through. He’s a top-class goalkeeper and we’re through because of his brilliance.
“We’re in the next round and by the time that comes nobody will remember how we got there. Ultimately all we wanted was to progress and we’ve done that. When we went 2-0 up we warned them not to give Coleraine a sniff of anything, but the penalty gave them something to chase.
“Coleraine tired but they had a chance and so did we. It must have been entertaining for people watching but it certainly wasn’t for me.
“We made hard work of it but we had five or six chances and the game should’ve been out of sight.”