When United striker Richie Bennett bulged the back of the net, having come on as a second half substitute at Chesterfield on Saturday, it sparked mass celebrations on the pitch and in the stands as players and fans alike applauded what was a superb strike.
And those who cast an eye towards the dugout will have the seen the coaching staff smiling broadly as they acknowledged the arrival of a player who has been desperate to do well, ever since he completed his summer move from non-league Barrow to Brunton Park.
Manager Keith Curle was quick to praise the goal which left Spireites stopper Tommy Lee with no chance as it rifled into his bottom corner.
“Richie’s goal was one for us all to enjoy and I’m sure he’ll have it on repeat to watch over and over again,” the United boss said. “It was good composure and technique and you could see the whole squad was pleased for him when it went in.
“He’s been working extremely hard on his fitness, because he knows he missed pre-season, and he’s also been concentrating on the stuff he needs to do to make sure he becomes a regular part of the team. He’s starting to settle, we’ve seen that since he came back from suspension, and his reward is his first league goal.”
On the quality of this particular goal, he added: “There are a variety of goals he can score and our job as coaching staff is to give him the confidence he needs to play the way we know he can play. When he’s doing that he’ll always be a threat.
“He’s getting an understanding of where he needs to be, and why, and his goals will come off the back of that. He had a shot like it which went just over the bar in the last game [Notts County] and it shows the bravery of the lad that he’s willing to give chances like that a go when things haven’t been going his way.”
And on the determination the player is shown having missed out for three games, he said: “He’s faced the challenge the suspension threw at him very well. Physically he’s got himself up to speed. He’s worked with the coaching staff on different areas of his game during his time out and he’s shown a determination to come back and make a mark.
“We’ve spoken to him and we’ve told him that, as a centre forward, if he isn’t scoring goals he has to be a problem for the defence. The weight will be off his shoulders now, because he’s hit the back of the net, so hopefully he’ll find the freedom to get out there and express himself.
“He’s come back in and he’s doing well at the moment because he desperately wants to earn a starting position in the team.”
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