What Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley had to say about Ronan Curtis' battle with Shaun Williams over penalty which cost Blues victory at Doncaster Rovers

Danny Cowley has defended the decision to allow Shaun Williams to take the second-half missed penalty which cost Pompey all three points at Doncaster Rovers.

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 6:27 pm
Shaun Williams sees his penalty kick saved by Doncaster Rovers keeper Pontus Dahlberg. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

The midfielder, who was only on the pitch 17 minutes before Gassan Ahadme was fouled inside the home side’s box, stepped up to take the effort despite team-mate Ronan Curtis desperately wanting the responsibility.

Needless to say, the former Millwall man won the argument – but probably wished he hadn’t as Donny keeper Pontus Dahlberg dived to his right to save the tame strike.

It ultimately cost the Blues victory and fourth league win in a row as they finished up recording a goalless draw against their Keepmoat Stadium hosts.

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But sharing his thoughts to the incident, Cowley admitted Williams was his designated penalty-taker – not Curtis.

Speaking to The News at the final whistle, the head coach said: Ronan wants to take everything, doesn't he!

‘But Shaun is a very experienced player, he's taken penalties all of his career, and he's a very good player.

‘I thought he had a very good game when he came on, he had a very good influence on the team as did all the subs.’

Reaffirming that stance, Cowley told BBC Solent: ‘Shaun's a really calm, experienced player - he's been a penalty-taker all his life.

‘Ronan wants to take everything and you can't fault his enthusiasm.’

The penalty miss was the Blues’ second under Cowley’s charge, with John Marquis’ failing to scored in the goalless draw against Crewe in April.

Cowley added it was an area he needed to pay more attention to.

He said: 'I think that's the second penalty we've missed since we've been here, so we need to work on that.’