Deadeye Dill offers Pompey penalty advice

JPNS SPORT KEVIN DILLON''Kevin Dillon pictured in May 1986, who played for Portsmouth FC.''PICTURE REF: 1366-2 '
JPNS SPORT KEVIN DILLON''Kevin Dillon pictured in May 1986, who played for Portsmouth FC.''PICTURE REF: 1366-2 '

Kevin Dillon has offered Pompey’s players the answer to their spot-kick woes.

Aim for the inside of the post.

The midfielder is widely regarded as one of the Blues’ greatest-ever penalty takers.

He netted 31 times from the spot for the Blues between March 1983 and May 1989.

Dillon rarely missed – although did against Arsenal and Spurs in the old division one.

And, after his former club missed their fourth penalty out of five this season, he has given advice over how to solve the problem.

He said: ‘I never practised penalties, I had confidence in what I was doing.

‘I often used to put five players to the right of me and the rest stayed back, so there were six of us around the box.

‘Normally that meant the way I was going to put the ball but not always. I used to change it quite a bit.

‘What I always did, though, was try to curl it with my right foot.

‘I liked to try to get it to hit the inside of the post.

‘I managed to strike that a lot.

‘With the curl of the ball a keeper should never save it.

‘In the two games I did miss, the ball was slightly off target and hit the post and didn’t go in.

‘I would also say the run-up is important.

‘You have got to have a long run-up.

‘If it’s short, it gives the keeper a good chance to save it.

‘I used to run from the heart of the D, right foot always first. I never ran at an angle.

‘Never run straight or overdo the angle of the run, aim for the post and he should not save it.

‘Mind you, when I went to Newcastle I missed a penalty in pre-season against a Swedish ice hockey player.

‘Jim Smith had already seen me miss twice for Pompey and that was my last chance to get the job.

‘He never let me take a penalty for them again – and I never scored for them in two seasons there.

‘Mick Quinn got the pens instead!’

For many Pompey fans, Dillon will be remembered for a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Millwall in a Full Members Cup match in the 1986-87 campaign.

All three goals came from the penalty spot and the moment is still treasured by the 53-year-old.

He said: ‘I have the ball from that game – it’s in my bedroom.

‘You can still read some of the signatures on it, like Vince Hilaire.

‘He was the perpetrator of every one of my penalties – he could fall over a twig!

‘In that match Brian Horne dived the wrong way every time.

‘It turns out he got the wrong information from his scout, who saw me hit it the other way in a previous match.

‘I actually scored four in that game.

‘The referee asked me to retake one of them because someone encroached!’