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MANAGER: They were singing it in the changing room as well

Paul Simpson on dramatic late winners

8 March 2022

Defender Morgan Feeney made his sixth consecutive start at Boundary Park on Saturday afternoon and the in-form defender, voted man-of-the-match in our online poll by a significant margin, made sure that his first ever senior goal was as significant as it gets.

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Strength and agility got him on the end of a superb free kick delivery from Callum Guy, and his unstoppable header sent the near 1,300 band of travelling fans wild as they watched their side claim the win their overall performance had more than warranted.

Chants of ‘Feeney, Feeney’ followed the players up the tunnel after the celebrations had ended, and manager Paul Simpson revealed that the signing hadn’t stopped there.

“All the players were singing it in the changing room as well,” he confirmed. “It was really good when he told me it was his first goal because they’re so hard to come by, first league goals.

“What a wonderful header. Standing on the touchline watching, as soon as he headed it I was praying, I know the officials don’t have goal line technology, I was praying from where I was that it was going to go over the line, and thankfully the celebrations summed it all up. 

“Callum put it where he needed it to be, it was a really good delivery, he did a couple of corners too that we had little skirmishes from.

“That’s what football’s about, that feeling you get at the end of the game when that goes in. I’d heard the fourth official say through his microphone to the ref there’s 10 seconds to go, just as we were about to take the free kick.

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“I knew there couldn’t be long. It was a little bit like the Chris Lumsdon moment from Stoke in the play-off final where he booted it out of the stand. I thought job done, let’s dust ourselves down, get home and ready for the next one.”

The first goal, the equaliser, came from a turnover instigated by Jordan Gibson, a slide rule pass from the boot of Kristian Dennis and a cool piece of striking from Omari Patrick.

“That goal was brilliant, it really was,” he commented. “In a way I feel for Kristian a little bit, he’s just a top lad, he’s up there celebrating as well, there’s no sulking when he comes off, he understands it’s about the team, the group.

“Tobi’s eager and willing to go. I’m really pleased with the work Dennis does, he’s got a little bit of nouse about him, he wins fouls, gets his body in, retains possession.

“If he carries on doing that he doesn’t really need to worry about it. If it means 60-odd minutes then Tobes comes on, or one of the other strikers, Lewi or Tyrese, so be it. It’s about the team getting results and they’ll all benefit from that.

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“And Omari is on fire. At times, when he’s running at defenders, he looks unplayable. He’s in a great run of form and he just has to carry it on for as long as he possibly can.

“It was a wonderful first touch, that was a biggie, that set it for him and he slid it with the outside of his right foot. In that situation you’re probably thinking inside of your left.

“It shows a striker in form and a partnership of him and Dennis doing really well. When you add Tobi into the mix with that physical presence and running, it’s not a bad feeling to have.

“In a few weeks’ time, hopefully when we have Rod McDonald and Brennan Dickenson back, and maybe Gime Toure, and Kelvin Mellor, we should have a really strong group of players to be able to go and finish this season off well for us.”

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