Vanarama Column Feb 21 – Highs, Lows and Winning Goals

Highs and Lows and Winning Goals

By Luke Coulson, FWA and Ebbsfleet United

Throughout my childhood, misbehaviour was greeted with the usual disheartening punishment of spending a weekend behind closed doors. Those miserable days were spent peering out of an upstairs window watching my brothers and friends play football; the ultimate torture.  

Similarly, sat on the bench at 3pm on a Saturday watching my team mates play brings those feelings of frustration flooding back.

Two weeks ago, I was dropped from the starting eleven and forced, once more, to feel those disappointing emotions as I watched my team mates face an in-form Solihull Moors side. However, with 30 minutes to go and the game finely balanced at 0-0, I got the nod from my manager to get my shirt on. Taking my disappointment and frustration on to the pitch, I attacked the opposition full back at every opportunity to hopefully make an impact and prove a point.

That relentless and positive mindset had its desired effect and with 15 minutes to go, I scored the winning goal. Collecting the ball on the left side of the penalty area, I cut inside on to my right foot and bent a fierce shot into the far corner. I don’t write these blogs to promote myself but I have to say the goalkeeper had absolutely no chance.

Scoring the winning goal of a football match is exhilarating. The elation and passion that overcomes you as you celebrate in front of thousands of applauding fans is unforgettable. Yet, the ecstasy extends even deeper than that when you see what it means to your fellow team mates who have worked hard every day with you to be in that position.

Subsequently, that positive cameo performance and winning goal was enough to get my name back into the starting eleven for our following match against Halifax. For the long journey up North, there was a new face amongst us with the club announcing the signing of Corey Whitely from Dagenham and Redbridge, and he made an immediate impact.

Despite us being own top, a dubious penalty decision for the home side meant we ended the first half trailing 1-0. However, after coming on as a substitute, Whitely opened his Ebbsfleet account and started the comeback with a close range finish at the back post.

The equaliser gave us all the momentum and with 58 minutes on the clock, I was able to score the winning goal again, my second in two games. However, the joy of scoring that winning goal was delayed as it came early in the second half and for all we knew; it may not have been the last. Yet, when I heard the sound of the full time whistle and my goal separated the teams, that unforgettable feeling washed over me again. 

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