When Craig MacGillivray signed for Portsmouth at the start of the season, not many would have expected what impact the goalkeeper would have at the club in a few months time.
Signed on a free from Shrewsbury, MacGillivray was a bit of an unknown quality when he joined Pompey during the summer transfer window.
In his past three years in professional football for both the Shrews and Walsall, the Scottish-born keeper had only managed 33 appearances in all competitions for both clubs, which is why it came as a surprise when Kenny Jackett gave him the starting role on the opening day of the season.
Not only was it a surprise to see MacGillivray handed the starting keeping role despite three years essentially on the bench as a backup, but it was a shock to Portsmouth fans when the former Shrewsbury player actually turned out to be an excellent keeper between the sticks.
In the first half of the season, MacGillivray made eight clean sheets in the first 23 League One games, an achievement that resulted in the keeper being awarded a contract extension at Portsmouth, as well as rumours that the 26-year-old shot-stopper could be featured in the Scotland squad, but no such call-up has happened as of yet.
MacGillivray continued to impress for Pompey as the south coast side carried on winning in League One and building a case for themselves for an automatic promotion spot in the table, and then came the EFL Trophy final, where the keeper had his finest moment so far in the blue and white shirt of Portsmouth.
With the game heading into a penalty shoot-out, MacGillivray knew he had the chance to write his name into Portsmouth history if he was able to step up at the most crucial of times, and that’s exactly what the keeper did when he saved Lee Cattermole’s spot-kick as Pompey claimed the EFL Trophy 5-4 on penalties.
MacGillivray has been one of Portsmouth’s best signings in the past few seasons and with Pompey set to fight to the end for promotion to the Championship, it is likely the keeper will be the difference between another year in League One or an unexpected party on the south coast.
Portsmouth fans, how surprised have you been with MacGillivray this season? Let us know!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience