Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 goalkeeper Billy Collings was delighted to make his first appearance of the campaign in last night’s 2-2 draw against Peterborough United in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The keeper saved the first spot-kick of the shootout from Matt Godden after the game had gone to penalties – it was a 5-4 victory that earned Albion an extra point in the process, and Collings discussed the scenario from a keeper’s perspective.
He said, “The penalty shootout is always good for a goalkeeper because there’s not really any pressure on you compared to if you’re taking the spot-kicks.
“If you make a save it’s a bonus – luckily, I guessed the right way from the first one, which was taken by their main striker, so that was nice and it ended up being decisive.
“I feel like I can save some but as a keeper you’re not expected to because if the ball is hit well you won’t get to it.
“I got close to another as well – it was my first game of the season and I really enjoyed it, it’s nice to get a game and to get the win as well.
“We have good competition in the goalkeeping positions at the club but I’m really happy with how I took my opportunity this evening.”
Second-half goals from Aaron Connolly and Jordan Davies had got Simon Rusk’s men back on level terms following goals from Godden and Jason Cummings for the hosts, and Collings praised the resilience the side showed to get back into the contest.
“The lads showed great character and we did well to stay in the game.
“We didn’t let our heads drop, we got the two goals back and then managed to win it on penalties, so it was a successful evening all round really.
“I think we controlled the ball throughout the entire game, so we were frustrated to be behind. I think we were the better team overall, but sometimes football doesn’t work in that way – but overall, I think we’ve did really well."
The contest was Albion’s second in the competition this term, and MK Dons provide the final group opposition during their third stint in the tournament – the goalkeeper discussed the exposure to senior football and the difference compared to academy matches.
“This level of football against senior sides feels a lot more intense – they press you a lot more and the physicality obviously goes up a level compared to academy football.
“They were a lot bigger than us, but we kept the ball well and got what we deserved in the end.
“I think we did well to stick to our principles when we were behind, it would have been easy to abandon them, but we stuck to what we’re good at.”