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Neil Etheridge pulls off spectacular TRIPLE save as Birmingham beat Forest Green in the FA Cup

Neil Etheridge pulls off a spectacular TRIPLE save as Birmingham beat Forest Green in the FA Cup Third Round on Tuesday night.

The Championship side had to overcome a scare, needing two second-half goals to knock out League One strugglers Forest Green.

A quick start saw Ben Stevenson pull off a spectacular early goal to give the hosts the lead going into the break.

However, Lukas Jutkiewicz got one back to level the score immediately after the break.

Kevin Long also scored his first goal to set up a tie with Blackburn in the fourth round.

 

Blues survived a double-strike in a panicked scramble just after the hour when Etheridge, who had been making just his second appearance of the season, came to their rescue. He first touched Regan Hendry’s left-foot shot onto a bar, before heroically denying Matty Stephens from the rebound.

“He hasn’t stopped talking about it for the last 20 minutes and quite rightly so,” Eustace said after the final whistle as per Birmingham Live. “The way he trains, the way he applies himself all season has been very good, when he is called upon he hasn’t let anyone down and he has shown he is still a top goalkeeper.

“The first half was obviously disappointing, real difficult conditions, we didn’t keep to the game-plan, we were playing in the wrong areas. We weren’t aggressive, we weren’t on the front foot. I think the changes at half time were very positive. The boys that came on were very good.

“Alfie Chang came on and was brilliant, I am really pleased for him and Neil, what a double save that was, it was a world class save. I think it shows although we haven’t got the biggest of squads we have got a squad that wants to compete and want to look after each other and work hard.

“That first half performance was not what we want but the way we responded in that sceond half was really pleasing.

“It kind of continued from the game at the weekend which was surprising because we have done a lot of talking about what was going on. The pleasing thing for me is when you are going through a difficult period, which we are, to show the character there to come through it is a real positive.

“That performance oin the second half shows we are together and hopfeully can kick-start us going forward.

“I have said from Day One there are going to be difficult moments and four defeats in a row then 1-0 down at half time at Forest Green you don’t get much more difficult than that. The way the boys have responded was really pleasing.”

Forest Green’s Ian Burchnall said to BBC Radio Gloucestershire: “We were outstanding first half and thoroughly deserved to go in ahead. But we didn’t get that elusive second goal.

“Then they changed their shape at half-time and it took us 10 minutes to get to grips with it.

“They took their two chances and we didn’t take ours. And you can’t do that against a side from that level with that sort of quality. It’s a simple as that.

“We’d love to have made it to the fourth round for the first time. But it was still a good night. The fans were great. When they give us support like that, it gives us a real boost.”

This is what twitter users said when Neil Etheridge pulls off a spectacular TRIPLE save as Birmingham beat Forest Green in the FA Cup…

@IMarley7: A triple save, pushed it away from the strikers too. The save of the decade without question. #KRO

@Chris39B: Keeper porn

@MartinMJ22: Some of the best goalkeeping you’ll literally ever see

@Roykelliher_1: Ridiculous ☠️

@george_litch: Absolutely incredible

@BillyFranciss: What a keeper 😮‍💨

@LiamMDrake: I think that’s the best triple save I’ve ever seen

@kerry_jowitt: Genuinely has no right 🙉😳😮‍💨

@jagers29: Oh my good god

@Jakestokie007: Goalie tekkers!

@AdamShaww96: That 2nd save is unbelievable

@jamie_davison1: Second one should score but Jesus Christ they’re 3 unbelievable saves

@SamTheCoach: That’s outrageous

@VankiewiczLewis: Oh my days 😍😍

@R_1875: Great way to put yourself in the shop window 👏🏼 deserves to be a number 1 somewhere!

@nick1wilson: Oh my god. This is ridiculous goalkeeping #TripleSave

@DazGK: Desire to keep the ball out of the net has to come from within!

@wolfcubtacos: Unbelievable saves

@mrthompson81: Every time I’ve seen Etheridge play, particularly when Cardiff were in the top flight, thought he looked a very good goalkeeper.

@DavePugh73: I was there and it was astonishing. Well done @Neil38Etheridge 💪 #KRO

@marquisrenner: The 1st awesome but the 2nd strength, agility & quite sublime 2nd save! C’mon Ethers!

@piearce9: The third save is the most impressive 👏

@zako98: Pure athleticism 👏🏻

@Max_Bcfc: Absolutely ridiculous 🤯

@josh_wats09123: Absolute cat this bloke is! Pulled off some corkers for the bluebirds also.

@sconeill89: Best save I’ve ever seen live!

@jake_bull_1: That’s class 👏🏼

@woodszach22: One of the best saves I’ve ever seen in football in my life!

@angiexxunited98: I remember Etheridge keeping a clean sheet against us in the final day of the 2018-19 season. Been a class goalkeeper for both club and country for several years. 👐🇵🇭

@thebenprice: If that bloke could kick a ball he’d be playing every week in the premier league

@_jpe494: Best triple/double save I’ve ever seen in my life. Hands down. Phenomenal goalkeeping. No one’s ever doubted Etheridge as a shot stopper

@LukePorter6: Silly good keeper on his day

@Tadders123: Incredible stuff this

@TRINIDANDY: How he’s still on the bench catching cobwebs is beyond me. We won’t play him for whatever reason but is still a top, top keeper in the champ!

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