Craig MacGillivray: I knew I’d have the last laugh in Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland

Craig MacGillivray reflected on his Pompey penalty heroics and roared: I knew I’d have the last laugh.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 5:03 pm
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 5:07 pm
Goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray celebrates his penalty shootout save. Picture: Joe Pepler

The stopper kept out Lee Cattermole’s spot-kick in the shootout as the Blues were crowned Checkatrade Trophy champions over League One promotion rivals Sunderland at Wembley.

Gareth Evans, captain Brett Pitman, Lee Brown, Jamal Lowe and Oli Hawkins all converted their penalties.

And that meant MacGillivray’s save from the Black Cats skipper clinched a 5-4 shootout win for Kenny Jackett’s side – after it had finished 2-2 following extra-time.

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The former Shrewsbury and Walsall keeper had been an unused substitute on three previous occasions at Wembley.

And MacGillivray revealed he fulfilled a dream by playing a vital part in the victory at the national stadium.

He said: ‘I had the feeling when it was getting into added-time of extra-time that “It’ll be my day, I’ll have this last laugh here”.

‘I just had a feeling that I’d save at least one penalty, I just had the feeling.

Goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray celebrates his penalty shootout save. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘It’s what dreams are made of for a goalkeeper.

‘It came down to a penalty shootout and fortunately I saved one.’

MacGillivray had done his homework and studied Sunderland’s potential takers beforehand. 

But the 26-year-old admitted he went off instinct in the shootout, which ultimately made him a Blues hero.

He added: ‘You switch straight into penalty mode once the final whistle goes.

‘It was frustrating because I do my homework – at least I I try to – so you have a rough idea where players are comfortable going.

‘But the majority of the Sunderland players I’d looked at had been taken off.

‘Will Grigg was one of the favourites but he’d come off.

‘I also had Charlie Whyke as one of the favourites and he didn’t take one.

‘On occasions like this it’s good just to see what they’re like on a big stage and see where they go at vital times in games because that is when the pressure is on.

‘You’ve got a 50/50 chance and a lot of it is just guess work, you either save it or you don’t.

‘I was left just to go off instincts.’