Collin could inspire England's Hart

26 May 2014 12:46

England goalkeeper Joe Hart could do worse than ask Rotherham's Adam Collin about the art of being a penalty shootout hero ahead of this summer's World Cup.

The Millers keeper saved two spot-kicks in the League One play-off final against Leyton Orient at Wembley on Sunday to earn his side back-to-back promotions and seal a return to the Championship after 10 years away.

After it had ended 2-2 after 120 minutes, Collin kept out Mathieu Baudry and Chris Dagnall efforts and extended an outstanding record where he has saved two spot-kicks in all seven of the penalty shootouts he has been involved in, winning them all.

That history stood him in good stead and the former Carlisle man was happy to be the hero.

"We've got an analyst who gives us DVDs but most players go in a set way and I just gambled," he said.

"I've been in seven shootouts, saved two in each and won every one. So I have got a good record.

"I fancy myself when I am up there so to make two saves was great.

"I wasn't quite sure if we'd won, I'd lost count, but I saw the lads running towards me and thought that must be it.

"This is the best moment of my career. I have played at Wembley twice, but to win promotion here is just fantastic.

"It was my turn to be the hero, I was delighted."

The fact that Collin was in a position to produce those saves was thanks to a fine second-half comeback by Steve Evans' men, who were trailing 2-0 at half-time.

Goals from Moses Odubajo, a fine 20-yard volley, and Dean Cox put one foot in the Championship for Orient, who spent 22 weeks of the regular season on top of League One.

But former O's striker Alex Revell broke their hearts after the restart with two quickfire goals, the second dwarfing Odubajo's for quality as he thumped in a stunning 40-yard volley.

That comeback typified the Millers' never-say-die attitude as they earned 23 points in the regular campaign from losing positions.

"People probably thought we were dead and buried at half-time but we fought on," Collin added. "It was hard work and determination. Revs has come up trumps with that goal. We knew if we got a goal we'd get another one.

"We have shown it all season. We were unlucky not to get promoted automatically but we have shown that resilience all season."

While Collin was left to receive the adulation of his team-mates, Baudry's emotions were at the other end of the scale.

Although his miss did not decide the match, it gave Rotherham the momentum and he apologised to his team-mates.

"Everyone is really sad, we gave everything and we are unlucky to be on the losing side," the Frenchman said.

"We were disappointed to allow them back into the game, but I am proud of us and what we have done this season.

"I was confident with the penalty, they are a bit of a lottery. But I missed it and I am devastated. I feel like I let down the boys and I am sorry I have let them and the supporters down."

Source: PA