He wanted to play against Crawley - then Scotland called for Portsmouth Wembley hero Craig MacGillivray

Craig MacGillivray’s last Checkatrade Trophy outing resulted in etching his name in Pompey folklore.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 10:00 am
Penalty hero Craig MacGillivray celebrates winning the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley. Picture: Joe Pepler

Yet the Wembley penalty hero won’t be present for the start of the defence.

A Scotland summons has deprived the Blues of their first-choice keeper for tonight’s visit of League Two Crawley (7.45pm).

Instead, Alex Bass will step up to feature in the competition re-branded Leasing.com Trophy, marking his fifth Pompey appearance.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

MacGillivray, of course, saved Lee Cattermole’s penalty in March’s Checkatrade Trophy final, as Kenny Jackett’s men triumphed 5-4 in the shoot-out.

The Scot, who had dislodged Luke McGee to play the last three matches of that run, had told the Blues’ boss he wanted to face Crawley.

Then came that maiden international call-up – and the keeper who hates missing games will not be present at Fratton Park.

MacGillivray said: ‘I know people want to change teams around and give other people minutes, but I want to play as many games as I can.

‘I don't mind competition, but I want to play – and have told the gaffer that.

‘That’s not necessarily because I previously hadn’t played many games myself, although may be a little factor. It’s just that you play football to play football.

‘You don't want to play this match and miss that one, coming in and out of the team, if it’s a game of football, you want to play in it.

‘I ended up playing in the Checkatrade Trophy in the end. I’d wanted to play in the earlier rounds, but we ended up changing the team around.

‘That was to benefit the squad, giving people minutes, which is completely understandable, I understand that.

‘But football is about playing games.’

MacGillivray linked-up with the Scotland squad on Sunday ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia (September 6) and Belgium (September 9).

And it’s an honour he is revelling in.

He added: ‘I went through non-league, had ups and downs in professional football, to finally playing – and now getting an international call-up.

‘It's a very funny game, football changes so, so quickly.

‘Those years at Walsall and the year at Shrewsbury feel so long ago, they really do.’