Morecambe’s emergency goalkeeper Alex Kenyon says his career between the sticks started with a joke.
The midfielder was forced into action after Barry Roche’s red card against Hartlepool on Saturday with The Shrimps without a substitute stopper due to Kieran O’Hara’s ankle knock.
Kenyon couldn’t keep out Luke James’ penalty and also conceded a second late on having earlier scored in the humbling 5-2 defeat at the Globe Arena.
The 23-year-old said: “Last year when we went to Dover in the FA Cup we hadn’t got a goalkeeper until the day.
“We got Joe Lumley (on loan from Queens Park Rangers) in the end but I bought a pair of ‘keeper gloves and turned up wearing them saying ‘don’t worry lads, I’m here’.
“Since then it’s sort of stuck that I think i can be a goalkeeper.
“I don’t mind going in, but it was just disappointing that we lost.”
It was a mixed day for Kenyon whose fine left-foot finish was the highlight of his afternoon before being called on to don the clubs for the first time in his career.
The former Lancaster City man said: “I’m pleased to get the goal but that’s the first time I’ve ever been a goalkeeper.
“We’d said before the game when Kieran was struggling with his ankle that it’d be me to go in goal because I’ve done in it the past when I’ve been messing around and stuff.
“The gaffer asked if I would and I said ‘obviously, I’ll play anywhere’.
“I didn’t really have much to do apart from pick it out of the goal twice.”
The defeat, the latest in a wretched second half of the season for The Shrimps, was one of the toughest to take for Jim Bentley’s side this season.
Kenyon said: “It was very tough.
“We didn’t start well again, which we’re not happy with, but we scored which brought us into a little bit at 2-1 at half-time.
“We said all the right things in the dressing room, ‘the next goal’s key, let’s make sure we get it and momentum can swing’.
“But they got the goal early on and from then on it was an uphill battle.
“I’d probably say Dagenham in the FA Cup was the worst I’ve felt this season personally but this is up there.”
The Shrimps will look to bounce back in the big derby at promotion-chasing Accrington next Saturday with Kenyon insisting Morecambe aren’t coasting to the end of the season.
He said: “You can look at the table and say we’re safe but we’ve not been happy with how things are going.
“We should have done better on Tuesday (in the defeat at Dagenham) and on Saturday against the teams in and around us.
“We’re not just happy that we’ve stayed up we want to finish as high as we can.
“It’s a big game
“We want to stop them going up and we need to get back to winning ways.”