LEE ROBINSON proved to be a very welcome first foot for the Pars after answering the club’s SOS on Hogmanay night.

As the bells approached, he was in his car driving north and on New Year’s Day the goalkeeper walked into the club as cover for the injured Sean Murdoch.

After eight months out of the game, Robinson, 31, was man of the match in the 2-0 win over Falkirk and then caught his breath as he reflected on a whirlwind start to 2018.

He said: “I knew for sure on Sunday afternoon so I travelled up that night and trained the next morning. It wasn’t great preparation!

“I live in Sunderland so I travelled up and got here for half 11.

“My girlfriend’s up here and I’ve got friends here too but it wasn’t the nicest New Year as I had to leave a dinner with my family at 9 o’clock!”

The former Queen of the South, Rangers and Kilmarnock goalie made his debut on Tuesday and made a string of fine saves against the Bairns, despite a lack of match practice.

Asked when he had last played, Robinson said: “It was last season against Dunfermline, it was the last game of the season so what’s that, eight months?

“I’ve been training back home in Sunderland and have been abroad a few times doing some training so I feel as good as ever and enjoyed my first game for a while.”

He added: “That’s what I should be doing. I’ve had 14 years and had some great days but overall I’ve underachieved.

“I’ve had time out and if I’m going to do it, the time is now. I really wanted this opportunity and I’m very grateful for it.”

His previous game was on May 6 last year, when a last-minute Nicky Clark goal gave Dunfermline a 1-0 win at Palmerston.

He left the Doonhamers under a cloud in September and was without a club until Allan Johnston picked up the phone.

Robinson said: “The way things ended up at my last club wasn’t very nice. I don’t want to say too much but you expect better from certain people.

“It was a crap few months at the end of last season and the summer but it’s all worked out well.

“I didn’t expect to be at a club like this after how I’ve done over the last year or so.”

He added: “I started a company with my brothers to work with young goalkeepers, which has been really good.

“But this is what I want to do, I’m not bothered about the coaching side yet. I thought this was, not my last chance but I’ll give it a real go at a great club.

“I’d love to do really well and get my career started properly.”

Robinson performed well for Johnston when they were both at Queens from 2010 to 2013 and with Murdoch possibly facing a lengthy lay-off, the Pars boss didn’t hesitate.

The goalie said: “I didn’t really need to (play again) and I only wanted to do it for the right opportunity and if I didn’t take this I knew I’d regret it.

“I couldn’t have got a better club really.

“After leaving a club that wasn’t as good as Dunfermline you don’t expect to come back after eight months out to a club like this but I appreciate it.

“I know the manager and Sandy (Clark) so it’s worked out really well. Hopefully I can build on it and enjoy my football again.”