How Bentleigh Greens’ star bested his Premier League hero

Few get the chance to meet their heroes.

And fewer still can say they’ve conquered their heroes on the field of combat.

But that’s exactly what happened for Bentleigh Greens’ goalkeeper Ryan Scott when he came up against Wellington Phoenix’s Steven Taylor in Tuesday night's FFA Cup Round of 32 upset.

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Scott is a diehard Newcastle United fan whose father grew up on Tyneside, and he has spent many long nights watching Taylor in the Premier League.

“As soon as I heard he’d signed for Wellington I was looking forward to the game," he told the official website of the FFA Cup.

“I was happy enough just to meet him after the game and we had a good chat for 10 minutes just talking about Newcastle and how he’s doing over here.

“It’s a little bit surreal growing up watching a player, supporting them week in week out for the club you love and then rubbing shoulders and playing against them.”

It wasn't the first time the Bentleigh gloveman and Taylor have crossed paths.

Scott met Taylor back in 2014 after travelling to Wellington for the Football United Tour, which saw Premier League sides Newcastle United and West Ham United take on Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC in the New Zealand capital.

Bentleigh’s keeper flew over for the tour with his brother and a couple of mates and were fortunate enough to meet Taylor and a bunch of Newcastle players in Wellington's city centre.

To make the experience even more surreal, Taylor and the Newcastle side would soon be on the same flight with Scott en route back to Newcastle via Melbourne.

The celebrations were wild in the Bentleigh sheds last night but they had to be curtailed slightly for Scott.

An apprentice bricklayer by trade, Scott had a 5.30am start the next day - a blow softened by the climax of Bentleigh's historic win.

“We were very confident, and that’s no disrespect to Wellington - obviously that’s taking into consideration where they are in their pre-season," he said.

“We’re well into our season so we’re very organised and we know how each other plays and the structures and formations that we wanted to look at before the game.

"I think we controlled the game even when we didn’t have the ball, we were that compact that we only let them play a certain way and it clearly wasn’t working.

"And getting that early goal allowed us to do so."

Bentleigh currently trail NPL Victoria frontrunners Heidelberg United with three rounds remaining in the league competition.

But Scott anticipates last night's giant killing will galvanise the side ahead of the run in.

Moreover, Bentleigh came from behind to win the league Championship after finishing in fourth position in 2017.

“We’ll definitely take a lot of confidence moving forward and it’ll bring the boys together again," he said.

"Because we’ve played such a long season it's important to have these moments that you can celebrate through the year that bring that tight-knight feel back to the table."