WEYMOUTH goalkeeper Gareth Stewart admitted he “really enjoyed” his man-of-the-match performance in the Terras 3-1 Evo-Stik Southern League Premier win over King’s Lynn on Saturday.
Stewart, who works as a goalkeeping coach in Bournemouth’s youth set-up, delighted the Bob Lucas Stadium faithful with a series of brilliant stops, including a flying save to his left to keep out a Michael Clunan penalty.
The veteran keeper, who made his second Weymouth appearance of the season told Echosport he was “more than willing to jump in” with fellow Terras’ stoppers Mark Travers, Nick Thomas and Jordan Seabright unavailable.
He said: “Moles (Mark Molesley) has dragged me out. I had to ask the question whether I’d signed on last time for the season or whether it was the week or so. He reliably informed me it definitely was the season!
“I work with Moles every day and I always say to people if they do need help I’m more than willing to jump in and I really enjoyed it, it went well.”
Commenting on his crucial spot-kick save, the modest Stewart insisted his only part in the stop was to carry it out “physically”.
He said: “It was nothing to do with me. All I did was do it physically. I was given a little bit of information.
“Sometimes you have to decide whether to act on it or not.
“I decided to act on it and it was the right thing to do, so credit to the coaching staff.”
And Stewart felt more pleased for his Terras’ side than himself despite the manner of his display.
He said: “I’m obviously really pleased. It’s nice to be able to step out every now and then and play. There’s nothing like playing. Every time you pull the gloves back on that’s absolutely true.
“But I’m more pleased for the boys and for the coaching staff than I am for myself. They need to build momentum in this league. It’s easy for me to dip in and out of one game every now and then.
“It’s a momentum builder. If you can’t now build from that and use that as a real inspiration from that piece of work then I don’t know what you can do – the boys were excellent.
“The reality is that they’re trying to strive for promotion, trying to win the league. They’re a really good set of people and they deserve success.”
Stewart conceded he “can’t remember” ever winning a man-of-the-match award, and said it was an “easy decision” for him to work with the Terras’ players.
He said: “It’s always nice. I can’t remember getting one of those any time recently but there’s more to it than me making saves and looking nice out there, so I’m pleased for everyone.
“It’s an easy decision for me to come out and play. I’ve come across quite a few of them over the years anyway from my days at Bournemouth, so it’s not an alien changing room for me in that respect.
“It’s a nice atmosphere to come into and they’re young lads hungry to learn and hungry to prove a point, which is always a good thing.
“I think when you’ve got that ambition and you’re really striving for something it shows through in games when you really need it under pressure against teams that are top of the league or around it, and it showed.”