COLCHESTER-born goalkeeper Etienne Green has hit the headlines after saving a penalty on his professional debut for French club St Etienne.

The 20-year-old helped his side - aptly nicknamed the Greens - to a 2-0 triumph over Nimes in their Ligue 1 match, keeping a clean sheet and dramatically saving a late spot-kick from Renaud Ripart.

Prior to his fine penalty save, he made what appeared to be a brilliant save at the feet of Nimes forward Karim Aribi but the referee awarded a spot-kick for a foul, confirmed by VAR.

Ripart had previously scored all six of his top-flight penalties but he was foiled by Green's heroics.

The 6ft 4in keeper, who was born in Colchester to a French mum and English dad, had been named in the side following injuries to Jessy Moulin and Stefan Bajic.

Green told the Ligue 1 website: "It's a coincidence of circumstances, I'm fortunate.

"For the third-choice goalkeeper, it's never easy to prepare.

"I prepared myself just as I would for any other game, and it worked.

"Right from the first ball, which is always important for a goalkeeper, everything went brilliantly. Everything went for me.

"Saving a penalty was really great.

"We'd watched the video. I knew he would open his foot up.

"I decided to go left and saved it.

"The team gave me an incredible welcome back to the dressing room. I'll remember that all my life."

Green, who was raised in Colchester until his parents moved to settle in St Etienne and enrolled him with Les Verts Juniors, was voted man of the match by the club's supporters.

It was seen as the perfect performance by Green, who has trained with St Etienne since the age of nine.

He signed a professional contract with Saint-Etienne last year after coming up through the academy.

St Etienne are managed by former Leicester City and Southampton boss Claude Puel and have former Newcastle United and Crystal Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye in their ranks.

"It's fabulous for a kid to have a debut like that," said Puel.

"We signed him to a pro deal last year, but there were a lot of things he was lacking.

"He needed to affirm his character and his personality. He's intelligent and calm, but was rather introverted.

"André [Biancarelli, Saint-Etienne's goalkeeping coach] opened him up.

"There's not a lot else to say and he has quite a name for a player who's come through the Saint-Etienne youth academy."

Green's penalty heroics helped St Etienne edge further clear of the Ligue 1 relegation zone.

Goals from Wahbi Khazri and Denis Bouanga secured a second victory in three games for Les Verts to lift them seven points above their opponents.