Caley Thistle’s Mark Ridgers reckons goalkeepers are becoming more powerless in penalty shootouts because of the new rules dictating they must stay on their line.
Tuesday night’s Betfred Cup tie between Ridgers’ side and Peterhead was finally settled 11-10, with every outfield player taking a spot-kick and only the Inverness keeper missing.
He feels more penalties will be scored this season because of the implementation of the rule, which was approved at the International Football Association Board (IFAB) meeting in Aberdeen in March. Goalkeepers must have one foot on the goal-line when the kick is taken and are not permitted to stand behind it.
The change was highlighted in controversial circumstances at this summer’s Women’s World Cup, with Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander saving a penalty from Argentina’s Florencia Bonsegundo only for the video assistant referee to rule she had stepped off her line. Alexander was booked, Bonsegundo scored the retaken penalty and Scotland were eliminated on the back of a 3-3 draw.
Ridgers’ former team-mate Owain Fon Williams criticised the rules at the weekend, after he saved a penalty from Queen’s Park’s Alfredo Agyeman and seemingly earned Hamilton Accies a bonus-point.
However, he was booked for moving off his line and later said goalkeepers are now having to change years of trained habits.
Ridgers said: “The new rule makes it really frustrating – it’s difficult to get any momentum going forward and if you do, you’ve already committed to it. That rule doesn’t really help us in that sense. It was one of those nights for me where I’ve done well in the game but someone had to miss.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of goals from penalties this year. I got told off just for standing behind the line when the boy was approaching the ball. You’re naturally thinking you can’t step forward and you saw that.
“Not many times did the goalkeepers go the right way. It’s really hard to commit to the side without making a save.
“A foot off the post, with a bit of power, nine times out of 10 it will be a goal. But there’s nothing we can do about it. We have to train and try to adapt to it.”
Ridgers had kept a below-par Caley Thistle in the game against Peterhead during a poor second half, making key saves to keep out Scott Brown, Mick Dunlop and Jamie Stevenson.
He insists Inverness have to learn their lessons from last year, and the Peterhead tie, and break teams down.
He said: “It’s early days and we know what we need to work on. The way that they (Peterhead) played is the way a lot of teams played last year and that’s why we ended up with so many draws.
“Particularly with where we want to be in the league, teams are going to be difficult to play against so we need to come up with answers now.”