Joe Marston medallist Lawrence Thomas has shrugged off the sickening karate-style kick that almost ended his game and celebrations prematurely in Saturday night's A-League Grand Final.
Newcastle Jets striker Roy O'Donovan launched in with a dangerous high boot to the jaw of the Melbourne Victory goalkeeper who finished the game with his head swathed in bandages.
The ugly incident occurred in the 93rd minute of Victory's 1-0 over the home team at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Thomas, who was simply impassable for the 90-plus minutes, said O'Donovan approached him after the game.
"Yeah he came to me after, " Thomas said.
"Look I – funny enough it’s a small football world.I went on trial at Coventry when I was 15-16 and he just signed for the club and we went house hunting together.
"I know him from way back. He had a big bruised eye (from an earlier incident)… No it’s all good."
Describing the incident he said: "Yeah I saw him coming I was just watching the ball and I didn’t really expect it how it happened…but no, forget that, it’s job done."
With his head a "bit throbby" he was still keen to take his bandages off and go "for a dance" with his celebrating teammates.
The 25-year-old pulled off a number of stellar saves in the first half to keep the Jets attack at bay including a quickfire double from Riley McGree and Jason Hoffman.
But the custodian was more keen to deflect attention to the dogged defending of his backline.
"Young McGree there has been solid all season and I saw him cut inside and went near post and (I've) just gone up and tried to do what I do best, which is get myself in the way.
"Even though I made those few saves… back four, back six were outstanding.
"Our season was a bit of a roller coaster. We had to grit this one out. I thought defensively, incredible. Tommy Deng was so solid, (James) Donachie at the back there dealing with the long balls..."
The Victory keeper was a brick wall for the last two game, blunting the Sydney FC attack in the semi final before shutting out the Jets despite periods of prolonged pressure in the first half.
"A big part of my mental game is to stay in the game, play for the game for purely what it is, not getting too caught up in the environment outside,"Thomas said.
"I tried to stay relaxed the whole time and just pay it for what it is and before you knew it it was full time."
Victory, who finished the regular season in 4th, became the first A-League Club to clinch the decider from outside the top two.
Thomas added: "To play away from home, they’re a very good side, very good footballing side and tend to have a lot of possession.
"What can I say – Grand Finals are not really about how you play it’s about getting a result."