Rory Holden thrilled to get off Walsall mark
Walsall match winner Rory Holden has described his ‘elation’ at scoring his first goal in professional football.
The 22-year-old midfielder, on loan from Bristol City, stepped up in the 93rd minute to net the winner in Walsall’s 3-2 comeback victory over Northampton Town on Saturday.
The Northern Irishman was ‘buzzing’ after a ‘perfect’ first goal.
“It’s my first professional goal,” he said. “Wes (McDonald) did really well to play it into me and it was a bit of luck but I think I needed that after so many games.
“I’m buzzing, I’ve never had that feeling before.
“I’ve scored in Ireland, but it’s not the same with the fans getting behind you, it was fantastic.
“The timing was perfect to score my first goal in the 93rd minute to win it.
“I was thinking ‘it’s about time’.
“I was elated, I couldn’t believe it and I was just happy for everyone to get the three points. We worked really hard for it.
“We all have to chip in with goals – if we can score as many as we can from midfield, it will help us massively.
“The conditions played their part in the first half, but in the second half we were all over them and the final goal sums it up.
“We worked really hard to get it.
“The fans were fantastic and got right behind us after the first half.
“They were the 12th man.”
After three successive losses, Walsall are now unbeaten in three – having won two of them.
The Saddlers sit 13th in League Two and nine points off seventh-placed Colchester.
Although it may be too big a gap to bridge, Holden insists the belief is still in the squad.
“The first half of the season wasn’t good enough and everybody knows that,” he said. “From Christmas we’ve been a different team completely and we are strong minded – that’s how the gaffer wants us to be.
“The goal is to get play-offs if we can, but it’s just to finish as high up the table and win as many games as possible.
“We’ll not give up.”
Manager Darrell Clarke was also keen to heap praise on Holden, while added that he needs to add goals more consistently.
“He works so hard for the team,” he added. “It was a long time coming and he needs to add more goals to his game,but he’s a real good lad with a real good work ethic about him – and technically a very good player.”