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ALAN SHOULD HAVE WALKED; Clydesdale Bank PREMIER LEAGUE SPL.

JIM HAMILTON reckons Alan Combe was lucky to be on the pitch to save the penalty that almost ruined St Mirren's big day.

The Paisley striker was surprised the Kilmarnock keeper didn't get a red card for his challenge on Craig Dargo that handed Saints a first-half lifeline.

Combe saw yellow - and rubbed salt into home wounds by springing low to block Hamilton's spot-kick.

Mercifully for the hitman, team-mate Dennis Wyness rode to the rescue with an equaliser eight minutes from time to ensure his error was not fatal.

Hamilton said: "I think Alan was very fortunate to stay on but that's the ref's decision and it's a split-second thing. Alan then stood up and saved the penalty so he did well in the end.

"Of course, I was concerned the penalty would be costly. It's one of those where the keeper has guessed the right way but Dennis dug me out of a hole a wee bit by getting the equaliser. We had other chances so it's not just down to one penalty - we're all in this together.

"If you change your mind 10 times when going up to take a penalty then these things happen. It was just because it took so long with Craig being injured that I kept changing my mind about what to do.

"I was intending to put it in the other corner but had second thoughts at the last minute but I'll never to do that again."

Saints were delighted finally to get a point and ensure it was not a miserable opening to the new ground.

Hamilton said: "It was good to play in the stadium. We have trained here for a few weeks but I think the pitch is getting even firmer now. You couldn't wear rubber studs on it or you would be on your a**e more often than not. But we'll get used to it and I thought we deserved a point.

"It's great for the club to move into a new stadium but our job is to do it for them on the park."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2009
Words:347
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