BROWNE ON THE BALL: Error was only a talking point because it was so rare

Ashley Timms.
Ashley Timms.

David James was nicknamed ‘Calamity’ and his face appeared in one national newspaper with donkey ears attached.

Had it not been for Gordon Banks getting food poisoning, Peter Bonetti would have conceded just one goal in six international appearances. Instead, he dropped one ball as England were beaten 3-2 by Germany in the 1970 World Cup - and his reputation was tarnished forever.

Scott Carson, Paul Robinson, Robert Green and the truly tremendous David Seaman have all been vilified for conceding goals on international duty - even if it was a powerful strike, miscued free kick or a divot in the Croatian turf which was to blame more than their own positioning.

At present it’s open season on Joe Hart. Even when Arjen Robben - one of the world’s most exciting and talented players - turns his man and unleashes a powerful first-time shot at goal from close range, the world would rather point the finger of blame than applaud a moment of skill.

It’s a strange life being a goalkeeper.

Although part of a team, you train differently, you prepare differently, you play differently and you even dress differently.

Two great saves and a clean sheet, yet the striker who grabbed the last-minute winner will still probably earn the headlines.

The keeper rarely gets the glory, he regularly gets the blame.

And that takes us to Ashley Timms, Boston United’s number one.

He became the talking point following Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to Brackley, when Glenn Walker’s 43rd-minute strike slipped from his grasp and into the net.

He rightly became the talking point, because it was that moment which changed the game.

Had Boston won 2-1 and Marc Newsham marked his return from injury with the matchwinner, he would be the name on everyone’s lips.

Often that is the case, but at the weekend it wasn’t.

It’s bad luck for Timms that he made his best save to date for the Pilgrims in the same match that he made his first -and let’s hope it’s his last - obvious mistake.

It’s bad luck everyone - from the travelling press, to the fans, to manager Dennis Greene himself - is left to discuss the ball which slipped through the gloves rather than Gary Mulligan’s header, which was so wonderfully palmed round the post.

But one mistake does not make Timms a bad player.

The ex-Manchester City man has been a revelation since his arrival at York Street.

His positives - great positioning, commanding his area, unbelieveable saves - have outweighed this one negative considerably.

Timms’ mistake became this week’s main talking point, predominantly because it was so rare.

And that shows what an asset he really is.