Declan Rudd was delighted to save a first half penalty as Preston North End claimed three points against Colchester United.
On a difficult surface, PNE had to dig in deep for their first victory against the U’s on the road in 28 years.
And Rudd played his part, conceding a penalty before saving it.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com after the full-time whistle, the ‘keeper said: “It was a penalty, but I was fouled first, the ball was in my hand and he has kicked it out and I have fouled him, but I have saved it so justice was done really.
“For the penalty, I have gone to clear the ball and he has poked it away and I have kicked him instead of the ball, but I was fouled first so justice was done.
“I gave it away so I should have saved it so it was good!
“I would have expected a bit of grief from the lads if I hadn’t, but all of the lads have agreed that I was fouled first so everyone was on my side!”
Preston took the lead through a Tom Clarke header before being pegged back prior to haft-time.
But a spirited second half performance saw the three points claimed when Chris Humphrey’s shot was saved by Sam Walker in the Colchester goal; only for it to rebound of a U’s defender and into the net.
Rudd continued: “It was a tough game coming here today and the lads dug in well.
“It probably wasn’t our best performance this season but we have come away with the three points and that’s all that matters at this stage of the season.
“If we can play bad and win, we will take that every game.
“This season, we have absolutely battered teams and come away with maybe only a point when we definitely deserved three and today we have come away with three points and didn’t play as well as we can, so we will take that every game.”
North End were backed by more than 400 fans down in Essex and chants of ‘England’s number one’ was a pleasing sound to the ears of Preston’s young shot stopper.
“It was very nice to hear the fans singing that,” added Rudd.
“Not sure there is much chance of it, but it was nice with the England goalkeeping coach in the stand watching.
“The fans have been brilliant, they have got behind us in every game and today they have come down a long way and we brought a lot and they have kicked us on and helped us towards the three points.”