AT the end of the season when we look back on how we have done and key points in the season, Saturday’s game could well be one of the most important for us.
As the clock hit the 90th minute, the fourth official indicated there would be five minutes’ injury time and the game looked like it might end as a boring 0-0 draw.
Those five minutes seemed to go very quickly for us as Carlisle frustrated us and did their best to kill the game by time wasting.
But then in the 96th minute up stepped our on loan (from Bristol City) left back George Nurse to fire one in from 35 yards to give us a dramatic three points.
‘Nursey’ had come on as a centre midfielder and the substitution was a stroke of genius from the manager. I was off the pitch at the time and had heard the manager’s reasons for bringing Nursey on to the pitch to play out of position and it was almost like he had written the script for what was going to happen.
It was going to take a bit of magic to win it and that’s exactly what happened. A couple of days previously in training he scored a very similar goal and he has a lot of quality in his left foot too so we knew he had the ability to do it.
But his timing made this, his first ever senior professional goal, even more memorable. We were joking with him after the game about the goal and how he will probably never score a better one. It will take some beating.
The three points moved us back into the automatic promotion places and even though there is a long, long way to go, it is still nice to be in the thick of the action at the right side of the table.
It was important that we got the win though because our league game next weekend away to fellow high-flyers Cheltenham Town has been called off because of international call-ups so no matter what happens next weekend we can’t drop out of the play-off positions which is a boost for us.
We don’t have a completely free week though as we play Exeter City at home in the EFL Cup tonight (Tuesday). Although these games might not be the biggest priority of the season, they are very important for allowing players who have been injured, suspended or out of the team to get game-time.
There is also good prize money involved for winning a group game so that would be an added bonus for the club.
The big news to come out in the past week with Newport County was that our much-sought after manager Michael Flynn has signed a new contract to stay at the club until 2022 which was a massive boost for everyone.
He has done an excellent job since he has taken over as manager and the position the club are in now compared to when he took over is staggering.
The club has evolved a lot on the pitch in those couple of years and he has said that he has unfinished business and wants to be promoted this season after the disappointment of last year’s play-off final loss.
The players are desperate for success too. We know the manager will move on to bigger and better things eventually which is natural in football. But we didn’t want to lose him now.
He has been linked to every job that has come up in the past year and that is testament to how well we have been doing.
Results like Saturday’s game show that we have a great never-say-die attitude and those results can go a very long way to turning a good season into a potentially brilliant one.
Hopefully that’s what it turns out to be for us.