Couldn't hit a barn door....

Last updated : 31 December 2002 By Luke Thornhill
Closer to Row Z
United manager Brian Laws had his side practising penalties in training ahead of the FA Cup replay with Carlisle, and it seems it has had a strong effect on our players: out of the two penalties we have had since we have not even forced the goalkeeper to make a save.

First was Martin Carruthers, who struck the bottom of the post with his attempt against Bury, then Andy Dawson who had spectators in Row Z ducking for cover with his remarkable excuse for a penalty kick at Roots Hall on Sunday.

Carruthers was clearly low on confidence, explaining him standing aside for Dawson, but with regular penalty taker (and converter) Peter Beagrie still a month away from a return who should take any penalty kicks we win throughout January?

Debate has raged on our forum since Sunday afternoon with Ian Kilford both being suggested Matthew Sparrow. The consensus however appears to be that Andy Dawson should be allowed to keep the honour.

Brian Laws has said that Steve Torpey may be given the job, while starlet Matthew Sparrow has put his name forward.

Dawson however insists that he would be prepared to take one again: "I missed, but it happens. I will get on with it. I wouldn't be worried about taking the next one as well.

"I knew where I was going to try and put it, but it was a bit boggy and I slipped just before I struck it."

One person who appears to have benefitted from the specialist training is Tommy Evans: he pulled off a brilliant save to deny Southend's Kevin Maher from 12 yards out and prevent United from going two goals down.