Tom Newey had good reason to celebrate his goal for Oxford United on Saturday – it was his first for 210 games.
The left back timed his run perfectly to head in Danny Rose’s 39th-minute corner and open the scoring against AFC Wimbledon, paving the way for a 2-1 victory.
As soon as the ball hit the net, Newey sprinted off in delight.
It was a moment he had been waiting for since netting at Ewood Park for Grimsby Town, in August 2008.
He said: “I scored a free-kick against Blackburn in a League Cup game, but it’s been a long time since I managed to get another one.
“It seemed to settle us down a bit, we got on and got three points, which is the main thing.”
An injury to Michael Raynes meant caretaker manager Mickey Lewis had given Newey, who had not scored a header in professional football, the nod to get forward for set-pieces.
He said: “I have been saying for the last couple of weeks ‘get me in the box’.
“With Raynesy being out of the team through injury we’re lacking a bit of height at the moment.
“Mickey put me in there and I managed to get on the end of one.
“Danny’s got good quality and we probably should do a bit better from set-pieces than we have done this season.”
Raynes’ absence meant a reshuffle in the back four, with Matt Bevans coming in at right back.
It was the 20-year-old’s first league start and Newey was impressed.
He said: “The lad’s done well, he’s got a bit of confidence in his own ability and I think that’s what has helped him.
“He’s not shown any nerves and we’ve seen it in training, he is ready to make the step up.
“Credit to him, he came in at Exeter (0-0 on Tuesday) and we kept a clean sheet.
“Here we nearly kept another one and he can be really proud of his full debut.”