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Rob's penalty drama

Posted on 25 January 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Rob Burch admits that his last-ditch penalty save in the FA Youth Cup against Bolton Wanderers was the most dramatic moment of his career so far.

'Burchy' ensured that Pat Holland's side progressed to round five of the competition by preserving the 2-1 lead with his spot-kick save after Ronnie Henry was adjudged to have handled in the area.

"No, I don't think I have, to be honest," said Rob when asked if he had ever encountered such drama. "I'm 18, still learning and this is a good experience."

Rob added that that he endured a feeling of disbelief when the referee pointed to the spot and a good night's work looked like heading for an extra half an hour.

"I couldn't believe it, I felt sorry for Ron to be honest. I didn't see it hit his hand from where I was, but I guess it did and I suppose I should have come for it.

"We got the win - so it doesn't really matter now."

Madcap keeper Bruce Grobelaar pioneered the knee-wobble in attempting to distract Roma players during the 1984 European Cup final shoot-out. Rob went for a different option - practically doing star-jumps on the line while waiting for the kick to be taken.

"I'm not bad in size, so I made myself bigger to put him off. It took a long time, so I thought I'd make myself as big as possible.

"It was a good strike, but the right height for a keeper. Guess it right and you're there. It was alright.

"It's one of the biggest moments for me so far and it's a good feeling at the minute. It is a nice stadium and nice pitch. This one and White Hart Lane are the best I've played on so far."

During the course of the game Rob's handling was first class, coming for difficult crosses he not only got to them - they stuck. He is quick to praise Academy goalkeeping coach Perry Suckling for improvements in his game.

"Since Perry came in we've done a lot more on crossing as we've got more time. Every day we do things like that. It's good."

Coach Pat Holland was delighted with the contribution of his keeper and also deflected some of the credit towards Perry.

"It was a great save," said Pat. "The lovely thing is that Perry's come in and done a really good job with the keepers.

"He's working with them on the individual side of it and I think their confidence has risen sky high.

"I think a little bit of credit goes towards him as well.

"Keepers need that. I always said that clubs should have an individual goalkeeping coach. Because it is a unique position. It is difficult for outfield players to understand it because they are one-offs really.

"You can talk about right-backs, left-backs, but with keepers you need someone who's been inbetween the sticks and knows what it's all about.

"So I am pleased for Burchy and pleased for Perry because he's obviously delighted and has taken a bit of credit in there."