FORMER Burnley youngster Shay McCartan hopes he can finally kick-start his Accrington Stanley career after netting his first goal for the club at the weekend.
McCartan headed home from a yard to grab a last-minute equaliser for Stanley in their 1-1 draw at York City, ending the striker’s goal drought since arriving at the Store First Stadium last month.
The 19-year-old Northern Irishman, who was released by Burnley at the end of last season, had not scored in his first 16 appearances for the Reds.
Ten of those 10 appearances came as a substitute, and he had not featured at all since New Year’s Day.
“It’s been a hard six months or so,” McCartan said.
“I haven’t been playing really, I played at the start of the season but went off the boil and lost a bit of confidence, but hopefully the goal will get me back on track.
“I’m just delighted to get my first goal, it’s been a long time but I’m happy.
“I was surprised to come on because I haven’t been involved in the past few weeks.
“But I’ve been doing well in training and the gaffer said to me once he gave me a chance I had to take it, so I’m glad I did.
“I won’t score an easier goal, I couldn’t miss.”
McCartan earned praise from manager James Beattie for his goal.
“He came over to me afterwards and said, ‘It’s about time isn’t it gaffer?’” Beattie said.
“I said, ‘Yes, Seamus, it is!’. But I’m just delighted for him.
“He started off the season and was unfortunate not to get a tap in or a half a yard header like that.
“I believe if he had done then things would have been a lot different for him this season.
“But he’s conducted himself in a manner which is befitting a pro footballer. He’s always remained a character in the dressing room and the lads adore him.
“He’s definitely a player we see has a lot of potential.”
The draw left Stanley on 50 points – four points clear of the relegation zone with four games left to play.
The Reds host Mansfield on Friday. McCartan said: “We need maybe one more win, even two.
“Every game is important now.”