From Little Neck, gets sore ear

02 April 2012 12:53
saves penalty on debut

For making your mark on your first game in English football and becoming an instant fans favourite stand up Cobblers keeper Neal Kitson.

He became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty on his debut since Kevin Hitchcock did so 22 years ago but it is the context that made this star showing all the more impressive.

Kitson had never played in English football prior to Saturday and his senior bow came against a team rippling with confidence after four straight wins and operating a fluid system that generated goalscoring chance after goalscoring chance.

The debutant was equal to all of them – the exception being a classy Luke Murphy finish on 19 minutes – and then, with the chips down and Town staring down the barrel of defeat, he saved the best for last, blocking Danny Shelley’s penalty and watching it sail over the bar to safety.

The 26 year old was born in Little Neck, New York.

It came at the cost of a sore ear but Kitson, who was mobbed by his team-mates on the final whistle and declared an instant hero by the travelling supporters, did not mind at all.