Gary Johnson: Yeovil Town shoot-out hero Marek Stech has Premier League quality
Penalty shoot-out hero Marek Stech has been described as a Premier League keeper plying his trade in npower League One by his Yeovil Town manager.
The giant Czech Republic stopper enhanced his formidable reputation from 12 yards at Torquay United last night, denying Thomas Cruise to set-up a 5-4 spot kicks triumph in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
The clash at Plainmoor ended 2-2 at the end of normal time, James Hayter sparing the Glovers' blushes by netting a last-minute leveller to add to his first half equaliser.
Of former West Ham United man Stech, victorious boss Gary Johnson said: "It was a great save and again him and (keeper coach) Gareth (Stewart) did better than the other lads in saving balls this morning during training.
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"He is a big lad and he is just a super keeper. It is about time we mentioned Gareth Stewart because he has been looking after him and he does a superb job with Marek. Marek's getting better and better and in my mind he is a Premier League keeper playing in the first division."
Johnson also backed attacker and winning penalty taker Keanu Marsh-Brown to go from strength to strength after making the right wing role his own since returning to the team.
"He was never out of the Yeovil mentality, he just needed to understand it and learn it," he said. "He's 18 or 19, we've got a few of them and they are still learning.
"Whilst they're still learning the game they are going to be a bit up and down but those are the players we had to bring in. He is going to be a great player and hopefully it is going to be for us.
"Sometimes he has good performances and sometimes he has bad ones whilst he is still learning but he is certainly a match-winner when he wants to be."
After jokingly describing his outfield players as "absolutely useless" in a shoot-out practice held on the morning of the Torquay game, Johnson said the competition heats up as they prepare to face Wycombe Wanderers at home in the southern region quarter-finals.
He said: "We have got to play better than we did today but it's nice to be home. It starts to become quite serious and quite important now because there are only a couple of games before your double semi-final now and of course everybody wants to get to the final.
"We can start looking ahead to that now because this was a difficult game, as was Bristol Rovers. All in all, the boys can sit at home on their day off and be pleased that we have sneaked through."
See tomorrow's Western Gazette for all the latest news from Huish Park