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Sports editor ‘swaps press box for penalty box’ to save football club’s day

A sports editor put down his notepad and strapped up his shinpads to save the day for a football club on his patch.

Lochlin Highet, who runs the Kilmarnock Standard’s sportsdesk, volunteered to play for Irvine Victoria after the team issued an “eleventh hour SOS call” following an injury to their regular goalkeeper.

According to the Standard, the 24-year-old “swapped the press box for the penalty box” in order to play for Victoria in their West of Scotland League Third Division clash against Lugar Boswell Thistle.

And manager Dougie MacDuff will have been pleased with his new charge’s performance after Lochlin kept a clean sheet in a 6-0 victory.

Lochlin Highet

Lochlin, pictured in action, told Ayrshire Football News: “It doesn’t get much better than that. The guys were fantastic and I didn’t really have much to deal with which is all you can ask for as a goalkeeper.

“I just want to thank Dougie for the chance. I played a few friendlies with an Irvine amateur team in the summer but that was my first competitive game of the season.”

“It’s the first game I’ve played at this level and when you make a couple of good saves, it just breeds a bit of confidence.

“Dougie was very thankful but he pulled me in and made sure that I knew the magnitude of the game. He told me in no uncertain terms.”

Lochlin made two “good saves” in the first half, Standard editor Colin Paterson reported in his coverage of the match, before having a quieter second 45 minutes.

Mr MacDuff added: “He has never played at this level before and he had a couple of fantastic saves. I asked him to come in the other day and he accepted the challenge without any hesitation.

“It was very much appreciated and it’s absolutely fantastic for the boy.”