When Colchester United striker Sammie Szmodics popped up unmarked inside the penalty area on Saturday, he must have thought for all the world he was about to halve Luton’s 2-0 lead at Kenilworth Road. Hwever, he hadn’t reckoned for Town keeper Marek Stech.
With the U’s attacker’s goalbound header destined for the net, Stech somehow threw out a left hand to not only reach the ball, but divert it up and away from goal, to almost bring the house down and keep Hatters’ advantage in tact.
They went on to add goal another late on, but on his amazing effort, Stech, who produced a similar wonder stop against Yeovil Town in the previous home League Two fixture, said: “It keeps up a bit of confidence making a crucial save, so that’s very important for the team as if that went in, it’s 2-1.
“We don’t want to start panicking or anything like that and concede another one and it’s 2-2.
“Last season the lads drew 19 games so it was very important than we scored another just in case.”
Luton chief Nathan Jones, who signed Stech from Sparta Prague in the summer, hailed his keeper for the importance of his effort, as he said: “That’s why you want a top, top goalkeeper in that keeps his concentration.
He shouldn’t be at this level really, he’s a brilliant goalie, but we need him to come up that’s what he’s done.Olly Lee
“Because he didn’t have a lot to do all afternoon, but when he was called upon, he made the one outstanding save that he had to.
“That was good and I thought both keepers were excellent today as their keeper was superb too.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Olly Lee, who also played with Stech when the pair were at West Ham, added: “That’s what he’s there for and I said when he signed he’s a quality goalie for this level.
“He shouldn’t be at this level really, he’s a brilliant goalie, but we need him to come up that’s what he’s done.
“He didn’t have much to do all afternoon and then he pulls off a world class save.
“He’s well loved in the changing room, he’s a top man and I’m delighted for him.”