DANIEL Bentley's penalty saving heroics at Wembley were inspired by the shot-stopper not wanting to take one.

Bentley saved two penalties to help Southend United see off Wycombe Wanderers in the League Two play-off final, five years ago today.

And Bentley was eager to keep out the Chairboys so he did not have to step forward himself.

“It really was getting to the point where I thought I need to save one here otherwise I’m taking one and the pressure of doing that would have killed me,” said Bentley.

“Saving them is my job but taking one is something else and I didn’t fancy that at all.

“Maybe if it was an FA Cup tie or something like that I’d be all over it but at Wembley trying to get promotion, that’s another ball game.

“I just had to save one because I didn’t want to take one.”

Blues eventually triumphed 7-6 on penalties.

But Bentley, who came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall, did not initially realise he had kept out Sam Wood’s spot-kick to secure promotion for the Shrimpers.

“There was initially a moment where I thought I had touched it in,” said Bentley.

“I was thinking ‘oh you’re joking and this is becoming another level of nervous now’.

“But I turned round and the ball was in front of me so it was only then I realised.

“I can’t remember how I felt and it was really weird.

“I just felt I was in a bubble because I was so focused on what I was doing.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that before but it was amazing.

“It’s one of the best days of my life and getting promoted with my boyhood, hometown club is something that will stay with me forever.”

However, it was nearly so different for Bentley.

Wycombe broke the deadlock five minutes into extra time when a free-kick from Joe Jacobson bounced back off the woodwork before deflecting in off of Bentley.

And the custodian feared the fortunate goal was set to decide the final.

“For that to happen in the biggest game of my career to date was tough and I was thinking I’ve cost the team the game here,” said Bentley.

“But in the end I got to have a positive say in it and it’s the stuff dreams are made of.”

A late equaliser from Joe Pigott took the tie to penalties where Bentley took centre stage.

And he was regularly reminded of his saves during a three year spell with Brentford.

“When I was at Brentford I would drive past Wembley quite regularly and every time I did I got goosebumps because I’d be thinking about the play-off final,” said Bentley.

“It was the best day of my footballing career and I’ve still got the videos of my family all in bits crying.

“It’s crazy to think it’s five years ago already but you have to think it was written in the stars.

“You could get a top author to write a crazy football story and I think even they would struggle to come up with the way things unfolded.”

And Bentley has his own permanent reminders from the game.

“The shirt, the gloves, an array of pictures and the front cover of the programme are all framed in my lounge,” said the 26-year-old, who is now with Bristol City.

“My missus got it done for me for Christmas one year and it still takes pride of place.”

But Bentley is still reluctant to let his winner’s medal out of his sight.

“My medal is still loose because I’m a bit frightened to give it to anybody, “said Bentley.

“There’s a guy in Southend who does all my framing and he’s class but I can’t ever imagine giving anyone that medal and having it out of my sight.

“It’s so precious to me that I don’t think I could ever let it go.

“I think I’m going to have to learn to do the frames myself!”