SHOCKED Newport County AFC ‘keeper Tom King scored the first goal of his professional career – and said sorry to his opposite number.

The stopper’s form since signing for the Exiles in 2019 has earned a pair of Wales call-ups yet on Tuesday night the 25-year-old was on the scoresheet.

King’s booming goal-kick caught the wind at Cheltenham, zipped off the greasy surface and bounced over on-loan West Brom prospect Josh Griffiths and into the net.

Ten players celebrated but the man in purple was at first angry at striker Padraig Amond for failing to control the clearance, then uncertain about what had happened and then a little sheepish after embarrassing his 19-year-old counterpart.

“I was too busy screaming at ‘Podge’ – I thought that he should have got hold of it! I was trying to put him in but it took a lucky bounce and went over the goalie with the help of the wind,” said King.

“The lads were asking why I didn’t celebrate, but it’s the Goalkeepers’ Union and I even apologised to him after the game. I said sorry and if it was the other way around I’d like to think that he’d say sorry to me!

“The wind was very swirly but the bounce was unbelievably lucky – I nearly had one against me when we played Morecambe at home last year, when I only just managed to dig it out. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end.

“It felt weird, I didn’t know how to react. The boys were saying that I should have sprinted down to the other corner for a celebration.”

South Wales Argus: CELEBRATION: Tom King opened the scoring for NewportCELEBRATION: Tom King opened the scoring for Newport

King could even land a place in the Guinness World Records, outdoing an old pal.

Asmir Begovic was honoured for a 91.9metre effort in Stoke City’s Premier League clash against Southampton in 2013.

The Bosnian was outside of his six-yard box – so King could be in luck depending on the dimensions of Whaddon Road.

He said: “I am quite good friends with Asmir so I might just get my tape measure out!

“I was a trainee at Porstmouth when he was the first team goalkeeper and I made the connection through a friend of mine because we used to wear the same gloves. He will be laughing and joking I am sure.”

Alas, King doesn’t have a goal bonus in his contract and nor did he add to his salary by keeping a clean sheet.

Matty Blair levelled for the Robins deep into first-half injury time with the ‘keeper feeling that he should have done better with the driven effort.

“I am more concerned with putting points on the board and I was a little bit disappointed personally with the goal that we conceded,” he said. “We’ve got to tighten up at the back, especially so close to half-time.

“We’ve got to defend that better, we know that, and I can do better than that personally.”

King played second fiddle to Nick Townsend in the first half of the campaign before his heroics against Brighton in the FA Cup earned the start against Salford last weekend.

“Nick produced high standards for the first half of the season and I’ve got to go doubly as hard to keep my place in the team,” he said.