Nicholls is proving to be spot on with penaties

Lee Nicholls
Lee Nicholls

Saving his fifth penalty of the season on Saturday still did not change MK Dons’ luck, but Lee Nicholls is proving to be a bit of a spot-kick killer this season.

Keeping out penalties at AFC Wimbledon (twice including the shoot-out), Accrington Stanley, Coventry City and then Bolton Wanderers already this season, Nicholls has saved more than he has conceded.

Nicholls denies Coventry's Jordy Hiwula from the spot

Nicholls denies Coventry's Jordy Hiwula from the spot

And it has given him an air of confidence when facing a strike from 12 yards.

He said: “That’s what it looks like, but I think I’ve been lucky with two coaches that have worked hard on them and given me all the information I’ve needed.

“As soon as the penalty is given, I don’t think about anything other than saving it, sticking to the plan we came up with. I have to give myself the best opportunity to save it.

“I don’t know what goes through their minds, but I believe in myself and think I can save it.

“We, as a unit, will do our homework and if you can beat us, putting it in the side netting, then fair play.”

Nicholls’ penalty save on Saturday looked as though it was going to be enough to earn 10-man Dons a point at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday.

But after being denied from the spot, Daryl Murphy swept home from much closer two minutes into stoppage time to win it for League One’s bottom side.

Nicholls continued: “I think it’s frustrating to lose any game in the last minute, but to save a penalty as minutes before and conceding was heartbreaking to be honest.

“But that’s football. The tide will change and hopefully that’s soon.

“When you’re down there, you have to cling on to the positives.

“We have to keep going, working hard and putting our all in.”