Norwich City youngster Remi Matthews earns praise for penalty shoot-out heroics
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Canaries goalkeeper Remi Matthews has been praised for his penalty heroics as Hamilton made it through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.
The 23-year-old – back in the team after a recent shoulder injury – saved three penalties in the shoot-out win over Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday night to earn the Accies a clash against Rangers in the next round.
Manager Martin Canning said: 'He's outstanding. He's unlucky to be out of the team, he was doing so well until he picked up the shoulder injury. Remi has done fantastic with three saves. It took the pressure off the penalty takers and allowed them to concentrate on sticking the ball in the back of the net.'
Matthews, from Gorleston, said: 'I've had a few shoot-outs and not saved many, and that was always at the back of my head.
'It was just nice to help get the lads through in the end. I have a look at the player. I banked on the first taker going right and he did. It's a hit and miss, you guess the right way and you hopefully save it.
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'I think the first one was the better save. Those are the saves I should make when I guess the right way. It gave us a boost, even though Danny Redmond missed our next kick.'
Matthews, who is on loan at New Douglas Park until the end of the season, faces stiff competition for a first team place when it comes to the Scottish Premiership, with Canning preferring Gary Woods.
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However, Matthews remains philosophical about the situation.
'It is what it is,' he said. 'Gary Woods has done well when he's played, and I've come back to fight for the number one spot. I can only do what I can in the games I get the opportunity. The gaffer's given me the chance in the last two cup games and I think I can say I've repaid his faith.
'We move on to Saturday, and with the decision he makes I'm professional enough to get on and work hard either way. We've just got to focus on this massive game on Saturday as a team now.'
Matthews' heroics will probably mean he holds the upper hand for the Rangers tie.
He said. 'Anything can happen in football. I nearly knocked myself out on the post during the game so could have been home by half nine.'