Bolton Wanderers striker Daryl Murphy admits he was ‘devastated’ to miss a 90th-minute penalty and seemingly cost his side the win over MK Dons on Saturday, before making amends by netting the winner in the final minutes of stoppage time.
Up against a Dons side that were already down to ten men following George Williams’ sending off midway through the second half, Murphy was handed the chance to win the game in the final moments of regular time, when Baily Cargill handled the ball inside the area.
But while goalkeeper Lee Nicholls saved Murhpy’s spot-kick, the 36-year-old would still be the match winner for Bolton, as he turned in Luke Murphy’s cross in the third minute of stoppage time to seal a third straight league win for Keith Hill’s side.
Reflecting on those eventful final few minutes of the game, Murphy told The Bolton News: “I was devastated to miss it.
“It wasn’t the way I wanted it to go. I wanted it low and hard and I have just given enough height for the keeper to make a comfortable save.
Explaining his mindset after that setback, Murphy continued: “But you are always thinking ‘three minutes, just give me one more chance’ and I got it. That’s all you want, that’s all it takes.
“I think I’m experienced enough now to not think that’s the end of the game. You miss a penalty in the 90th minute but when there’s three minutes to play anything can happen.
“Don’t get your head down, keep positive, and then hopefully you get that chance. Luke Murphy did unbelievably and luckily I get across my marker to score.”
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Describing his emotions after he hit that winner, Murphy added: “The main feeling was relief… I would have been devastated because of the effort the lads put in.
“It was up to me to step up and score and I’d back myself all the time for that. It just didn’t happen on that occasion.”
Victory over MK Dons means that Bolton have now moved onto a positive points tally this season, having started the campaign with a 12 point deduction for entering administration earlier in the year.
What a moment this was for everyone involved with Bolton.
When Murphy missed that penalty, you imagine there will have plenty of those concerned with the club starting to feel as though there luck was never going to turn this season.
As it was, they would instead show the sort of spirit that many are starting to associate with Bolton this season, and they will now be brimming with confidence going forward.
Despite his penalty miss, it seems fitting that it was Murphy who hit that winning goal on Saturday, given the expectation there will have been on him in particular to deliver for Bolton this season following his move from Nottingham Forest at the end of the summer transfer window.