I Was Scared - Gerrard
Monday, 25th Nov 2002 00:02
On-loan Town keeper Paul Gerrard has admitted he was scared when referee Tony Bates gave a freekick after he had handballed outside the penalty area during Saturday's 2-1 win against Coventry. Under the letter of the law Gerrard ought to have seen a red card for the offence.
The Everton keeper said: "I knew I had to get the ball, with Thomas [Gaardsøe] and one of their forwards closing in. It was a split-second decision. I knew it was going to be borderline but if I had not grabbed it then they might have scored.
"I expected a yellow card and a few people said to me afterwards that I could have been sent off.
"But the referee knew it was not intentional and I still had my feet in the area and it was borderline. He showed commonsense, which is rare these days, and I applaud him for that."
Had Gerrard been sent off he would have broken the Town record for the fastest red card given to a keeper, currently held by Craig Forrest for a dismissal within a couple of minutes of the beginning of a game.
Forrest was ordered off after two minutes of Town's match with Sheffield United in September 1992 after sending striker Adrian Littlejohn flying. On that day Town kept a clean-sheet with sub keeper Clive Baker particularly impressive.
However, the fastest sending off in British football was Sheffield Wednesday keeper Kevin Pressman's in August 2000. He was sent off after just 13 seconds for handling a shot from Wolverhampton Wanderers' Temuri Ketsbaia outside the area.
Photo: Action Images
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