Motherwell boss Robinson praises ‘terrific’ Gillespie

Posted Sunday, December 16, 2018 by PA

Motherwell boss Robinson praises ‘terrific’ Gillespie

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson hailed “terrific” goalkeeper Mark Gillespie after his second penalty save in three games helped his side to victory over St Johnstone.

Gillespie threw himself to his left to stop Matty Kennedy’s first-half effort with Motherwell two ahead thanks to close-range strikes from Tom Aldred and Danny Johnson inside the opening 17 minutes.

The save ultimately proved crucial as Motherwell held on for a 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership win following Jason Kerr’s headed reply in the 83rd minute.

Former Carlisle and Walsall goalkeeper Gillespie has had to be patient since his summer move to Fir Park and his chance has come after Trevor Carson was ruled out for the season after being hit by deep vein thrombosis.

The 26-year-old has seized his opportunity in impressive fashion.

Robinson said: “I always say Mark Gillespie is a number-one goalkeeper. We thought Trevor would leave, we really did think we would lose him, and we can’t afford to run with two number-one goalkeepers.

“It was hard to keep him happy. Unfortunate circumstances have given Mark his chance and he’s been terrific for us.”

It was Motherwell’s first victory in 10 trips to Perth and Robinson hailed his players for their commitment in heavy sleet.

“We knew it would be tough and scrappy and we picked a team accordingly,” he said.

“I don’t think the weather conditions helped but we have to have a great amount of credit,

“We started the game on fire and scored two early goals and I thought we managed the game really well.

“A tremendous amount of character was shown by the players. They dug in, battled in really, really difficult conditions, and the fans that came to support the boys will travel back down really happy because the boys really played for the shirt.”

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright admitted failure to clear their lines during a poor start had cost them dear.

And a third penalty miss of the season also contributed heavily to St Johnstone’s first defeat in nine matches.

“I would like to see it again, they don’t often get re-taken, I don’t know if he has moved, but it’s a good save,” Wright said.

“It’s right in the corner but that’s three we have missed this year. Two didn’t matter but one did because it would have given us more impetus earlier on in the game.

“It would have given us an hour to get back in the game and your whole mood changes.”


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