I COULDN’T be happier for Shay McCartan getting his first professional goal – and what an important one it could prove to be.
His late equaliser at York City was vital for us with Northampton Town making such a good fist of getting out of the bottom two, and it was just reward for him on a personal note.
He hasn’t had much football this season with the team’s selection being very much the same, but he has shown a great attitude around the place.
There’s never had a moan or a whimper. He’s just bided his time and it paid off with one landing for him on Saturday.
Hopefully he can kick on between now and the end of the season so that he can can end on a high and have something good to take stock of over the summer.
He can have some momentum to take him into next term, come back and hit the ground running.
He’s a poacher in and around the box, and if he gets a chance he’s got a good strike on him.
He goes quietly about his business every day but his hard work does not go unnoticed.
It’s very evident that he’s got his own work ethic, and the right character in the game of football.
You have times when you are playing and times when you are on the sidelines, and he has handled the latter patiently and professionally.
I remember when I got my first senior goal and it’s a great feeling. And Shay’s probably couldn’t have been more timely.
Fifty used to be the points target for safety, and while it could still be enough, with just four points the difference with four games to go we cannot take anything for granted. It’s not over yet. We’ve got to make sure that we put it to bed. But it’s in our hands, which is the main thing.
First and foremost we focus on Mansfield in the Good Friday game. In our habit of scoring late goals we managed to get a last-minute winner there just before Christmas.
They go into the game on the back of the biggest coupon buster – a 3-0 win over Rochdale.
Dale were the best side we’ve played this season, on both occasions, so if Mansfield can beat them so convincingly it just goes to show you that anything can happen in this division.
It’s that unpredictable.
But if we get three points off the Stags again it will be a good start to the Easter weekend, and set us up for a long trip and a difficult game at Southend on Monday.
It’s one of the busiest times of the football calendar and a lot of things get decided this weekend.
You generally come out of the back of it knowing where you’re going to be.
Hopefully we will have risen a couple of places.