MATT Macey was on the bench back at the beginning of August as Arsenal came from behind to defeat their London rivals Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley and lift the FA Cup for a record 14th occasion.

But being part of the Hibernian team that wins the Scottish Cup this season would mean far more to the English goalkeeper than that historic triumph – particularly as it could help him earn a new contract at Easter Road.

Macey, who has been given the nod in cup games ahead of Ofir Marciano since arriving in Edinburgh back in January, was excellent for the capital club in their quarter-final with Motherwell in Leith on Saturday evening.

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He denied Allan Campbell in the first-half, Devante Cole in the second and then, after the game finished 2-2 at the end of extra-time, helped Jack Ross’s men to edge the penalty shoot-out 4-2.

Macey is hoping that Hibs, who are currently six points clear of Aberdeen in third place in the Premiership table, can top an outstanding 2020/21 campaign by going all the way in the competition.  

“It would mean so much more to win a Scottish Cup medal as a member of this team, a hundred percent,” he said. “I got a medal from the FA Cup last year. I never actually played, but it’s special, obviously.  But going all the way and winning this one would top it by a mile, absolutely.”

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Macey, who played in the Scottish Cup wins over Queen of the South and Stranraer before the Motherwell victory, has enjoyed his time at Hibs.

With Israeli internationalist Marciano, who has been preferred to him in their Betfred Cup and Premiership games, set to depart in the summer he is optimistic he can extend his stay at Easter Road.

“I really like it here,” he said. “And playing in the big games obviously helps me. I love playing in the big games, that’s what I play football for. So it (the Scottish Cup) is a good opportunity for me.

“But the club are giving me confidence that they’re not making a decision based on me playing right now. They’re giving me confidence that it won’t impact too much.”  

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If the 26-year-old, who made two first team appearances for Arsenal during his seven years at the Premier League giants, continues to perform like he did against Motherwell it will certainly help his cause. He handled the first penalty shoot-out of his professional career with aplomb.

“In terms of a penalty shoot-out, a keeper can only be a winner, really,” he said. “I was speaking to the goalie coach (Craig Samson) just before the shoot-out and he just said: ‘Get excited. It’s your chance to be a hero’. I didn’t actually save one. But I’ll take it!  

“Ofir came over to speak to me before it, although he didn’t say too much. He knows that, as a goalkeeper in that situation, you want to keep yourself to yourself, really. But he wished me luck. We support each other and, for the goalkeeping group, that’s a win for all of us.  

“That was actually my first competitive penalty shoot-out. I had a few in the youth teams at Arsenal, maybe. But that was my first big one, so it’s great to win it.”  

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Macey, who has spent spells on loan at Accrington Stanley, Luton Town and Plymouth Argyle in the past six seasons, had his self-belief bolstered before kick-off by Ross selecting him ahead of Marciano once again. 

“The manager has put faith in me, backed me and given me confidence to perform,” he said.  “So I don’t really feel like there’s any extra pressure on me because of that.  

“As we were leading up to the Queen of the South game, our first round, the gaffer told me I’d get my chance. He felt I deserved it for putting on what I call good pressure on Ofir, trying to make him a better keeper by performing as well as I can.

“So he gave me that confidence before the Queen of the South game.  You’ve got to keep your place, though, and hopefully I have done that with my performance against Motherwell.”  

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Hibs lost last season’s rescheduled Scottish Cup semi-final to Hearts after extra-time back in October and were thrashed by St Johnstone in the last four of the Betfred Cup in January.

Macey wasn’t involved in either of those disappointments, but has sensed a determination among his team mates to do better when they return to Hampden next month. 

“I’m quite aware of the situation with semi-finals recently,” he said. “From what I’ve seen, there is a real hunger, a massive hunger, from the boys to put that right this time around. It’s not spoken about every day, but it’s very clear that the boys are hugely motivated.”

The chance to get involved in more big cup and league games – particularly when supporters are allowed to return to stadiums in future – is certainly appealing for Macey.

“Cup finals, semi-finals and playing at Hampden, they’re all great to think about, especially when the fans come back,” he said.  “I’ve seen the videos of 2016 (the historic Scottish Cup final win over Rangers) and saw what happened.   

“But playing at a club like Hibs, there are more big games than just cup ties. We’ve got the Old Firm, Hearts, all those sort of games. I’m well aware that there is an opportunity to play in a lot of big games here, which is what I want.”