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38 of 051 Michael Ngoo 66LC N

Final twist a shout as Hearts goalkeeper takes inspiration from Joe Hart

Published on Sunday 27 January 2013 00:00

JAMIE MacDonald had a bawl as his team made it through to a Hampden cup final for the second season in a row.

Having failed to get his gloves on any of the Inverness Caledonian Thistle penalties during a tense shoot-out, he said he adopted some new tactics as Philip Roberts prepared to take what would prove the final spot kick.

“I just started screaming,” said the Tynecastle goalkeeper after his side advanced to the final of the League Cup. “I wasn’t saying anything, just screaming at him. I had seen Joe Hart doing it once and thought I would give it a bash as I hadn’t had much luck before then.”

It worked as the Inverness substitute ballooned his effort over the bar.

“It was probably a typical cup game, one each and then us going down to ten men and having to hold out for penalties. It had the lot and I think from a neutral point of view it was probably an exciting game to watch but it wasn’t good for the heart.”

The Scottish Cup winner said he had been disappointed not to weigh in with a save during the penalty salvo but he did contribute a telling stop early in the match when he rushed off his line to close down the in-rushing Billy McKay and stretched out an arm to foil the attack.

“Him and Andrew Shinnie have scored a barrowload of goals this season and we knew that coming into the game but it was just a case of standing up to him and trying to react to the shot and thankfully I managed to get down and get a good hand on it. It’s great to get to a cup final, especially after last year, and I don’t know many teams outwith the Old Firm who have managed back-to-back cup finals and especially the way the club has been.

“They have been difficult times and all credit to the players.”

MacDonald was one of only four players over 21 in the Hearts starting line-up and he said the kids had excelled.

“They were brilliant. Not just the workrate but I thought we tried to play some good football, wee one-twos.

“The boys in the middle of the park were great and Michael [Ngoo] just came in on Friday but he was fantastic for us. Held the ball up, laid it off, won things in the air and scored a goal as well.”

Taken from the Scotsman

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