ST MIRREN goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky dedicated his penalty kick heroics in yesterday’s Premiership play-off final to the memory of his best friend, Josef Sural. The 28-year-old was killed in a mini bus crash last month in Turkey as he travelled home from a game with his club side Aytemiz Alanyaspor with Hladky admitting that he is still struggling to come to terms with the death.

Hladky denied Peter Pawlett, Pavol Safranko and Callum Booth in the penalty shootout but revealed that he had not saved one when St Mirren practised them on Saturday morning at training.

"When the penalties started I just had a good feeling,” he said. “I watched their body language and felt like I could stop some. Though in all honesty, we practiced penalties on Saturday and I didn't save one! Maybe I got lucky here!

"When so many fans case on they were all over me, but they deserved their moment. They have supported us every single game since I came here and this is what they wanted us to do.

"It's hard with penalties. Goalkeepers can't really make mistakes from them, you either save them or you don't, so I like them. And today I really like them!”
Hladky bought out his previous contract from Slovan Liberec in order to sign for St Mirren in January. He was one of ten players brought in by Kearney in January but he has been an exceptional addition to the Paisley squad.

"When I came here in January it was tough, we had so many new players coming in at once and it took time for us to start playing well together,” he said.

"Then after we lost to Dundee United in the cup, we had a talk and we started to play with more heart. Since then we've got better and better and the last ten games we've only lost once, so we deserve to stay up.

"Back in December I started thinking about changing clubs and we spoke about a lot of different moves, but when I heard about St Mirren, the more people told me about them and the more I studied them, they felt right for me.

"I'm so glad to have taken the gamble to come here - and I hope they are too. I am just so happy."