Arbroath midfielder David Gold admits he is still in a state of shock after finishing Wednesday evening’s fixture against East Fife between the sticks, insisting: ‘I just blagged it!’
Gold, 28, boldly took the gloves after goalkeeper Calum Antell was dismissed for the Lichties, who had already used all of their permitted substitutes.
The score was still 0-0 when Antell was given his marching orders and, with 22 minutes left to play, Dick Campbell’s men would have been forgiven for settling for a draw in the Premier Sports Cup clash and targeting a bonus point on penalties.
Instead, Gold — with a level of brazen confidence that he struggles to explain — kept a clean sheet as Arbroath roared to a 2-0 victory.
“I keep laughing when I think about it,” he told Courier Sport. “I can’t get it through my head that I went in goals. I woke up on Thursday morning thinking: ‘Surely that didn’t happen’.
“I felt quite confident putting the gloves on — I said I would go in goals as soon as Cal [Antell] was sent off, as if it were the most normal thing in the world and I was in my back garden.
“Then, when I walked back to the goalmouth, it started to feel real. It’s a long walk back to those massive goals. They are huge!
“I quickly started to wonder if I’d done the right thing. I was saying to the ref every two minutes: ‘How long’s left, ref?’
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— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) July 14, 2021
“I was taking a drink of water, stalling over kicks; all the tricks I’ve seen the goalies do to waste time. I blagged it — it’s the only word.”
Gold’s teammates saw the funny side of the situation as the former Hibernian youngster sought to adapt to the new role, even coming for crosses with very limited success.
“I had to line up a couple of walls for free-kicks and James Craigen is in the wall, shouting: ‘Where do you want us?’” Gold continued. “I’m standing there, saying: ‘How am I supposed to know? What do I know about lining up a wall?’
“They were just killing themselves laughing. They thought the funniest thing was how blasé I was acting, as if I actually thought I could cut it as a goalkeeper.
“There was one where I came for a cross shouting ‘keeper’s!’ — and I totally missed the ball; miles off it.”
Gold added: “I’ve played about seven positions already this season — I’m actually a central midfielder, but you wouldn’t realise! I’m getting gradually further back, so at least it can’t go any further now I’ve ticked goalkeeper off the list!
“I said in the dressing room after: ‘Just give me a shot as a striker and I’ll have played in every position for Arbroath’.”
‘They are getting framed’
Levity aside, Gold is has described the efforts of Arbroath’s outfield players as ‘magnificent’ as they ensured the makeshift stopper remained relatively untroubled, helping the Lichties to a second successive Premier Sports Cup win.
And he has special praise for winger Gavin Swankie, who provided some impromptu coaching.
“Watch your back!”
Seriously, though, well done Fermer & Arbroath for providing brilliant coverage for fans who couldn’t be there for @EastFifeFC
— Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) July 15, 2021
“Gats [Derek Gaston, goalkeeper] came round behind the goal to try and talk me through the game — then the referee chased him away,” laughed Gold. “He wasn’t allowed anywhere near me.
“So Gavin Swankie came round and pretended he was stretching and did the job of talking me through it and telling me what to do. I owe him one.”
The only task left for Gold following a remarkable night at the office is to get his hands on the ultimate keepsake.
“I told Cal [Antell] that I needed those gloves — I’m getting them framed! He didn’t give me them. I think he was still a bit bitter, but I’ll keep on at him.”