Heaton's penalty glee
Cardiff hero Tom Heaton claimed he was relishing the prospect of penalties after helping the Bluebirds overcome Crystal Palace.
Last Updated: 24/01/12 11:47pm
Cardiff hero Tom Heaton claimed he was relishing the prospect of penalties after helping the Bluebirds overcome Crystal Palace to book their place in the Carling Cup final.
After the tie ended 1-1 on aggregate, Heaton was the hero for the Welsh side against their Championship rivals, keeping out the first two attempts from Jermaine Easter and Sean Scannell before Jonathan Parr blazed horribly wide of the target.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg at Selhurst Park, Cardiff were soon back on level terms when Anthony Gardner, who had given his side their slender advantage, could only divert Don Cowie's cross into his own net.
Heaton told Sky Sports News: "To be honest, I was quite looking forward to the penalty shoot-out. The boys had been brilliant all game and I had hardly touched the ball.
"When the opportunity came to get involved I was really looking forward to it."
And the shot-stopper has vowed Malky Mackay's men will go to Wembley believing they can win the trophy against either Liverpool or Manchester City.
"It's massive," he added. "It's something you dream about as a boy.
"We'll look forward to the game but we'll try to win the game. We won't just be there for the day out.
"[There are] two great teams in the other semi-final but I think we've got enough about us in this team with the players and the management that we can go and get a result."
The hosts struck the woodwork three times through Kenny Miller, Filip Kiss and Aron Gunnarsson, while Palace played with 10 men from the 78th minute after captain Paddy McCarthy was dismissed for two fouls on the Scotland striker.
Heaton said: "We all knew how high the concentration had to be. One goal probably would have killed us.
"We knew we had to keep a clean sheet, which we did, and some of the football [we played] and the chances we created were fantastic.
"It didn't quite go our way but there's a great feeling at the club at the moment. We felt it was our night and we proved it."
On the penalty saves, from Easter and Scannell, which led to a 3-1 shoot-out win, Heaton added: "We'd had a few of them watched. On the night, it's a bit of what they've done before and a bit of guesswork.
"Fortunately it went our way and on we march."