After one month out with a knee injury, Carlos Rodriguez had made a comeback for my team Darlington Rovers. He scored a towering header in the 89th minute and won the game for us. We also managed to keep a clean sheet.
In a game where there were chances galore, both teams looked set to take a point each as the strikers simply could not finish. The goalkeepers were on top form but the opposition goalkeeper could do nothing about the powerful header that had cost his side the game.
Carlos had managed to play the full 90 minutes in his comeback game and although he wasn’t 100% match fit, he managed to input a Man of the Match performance.
From the minute the first whistle had blown for kick off, both teams had an even share of possession and there was no clue in which team will take the lead. The match was free flowing with both teams constantly attacking and testing the two goalkeepers throughout the first half.
However, once the second half had begun, Auckland Town had come firing out the blocks as they had attacked from the off, soaking all the pressure towards my team. An unanimous penalty decision was awarded as their striker had fell inside the box but their was no contact made between the defender and striker.
Auckland’s captain Matthew Blake had stepped up to take the penalty, who had hit it low and hard towards the bottom right hand corner, but the goalkeeper had managed to get his hand onto the ball and push it around the post for a corner.
Throughout the second half both teams were still attacking each other, however the match was deadlocked and both teams looked destined for a draw.
But Rodriguez had other ideas as an in swinging corner had come in from Jerome Jones and Carlos managed to leap high above his marker in order to powerfully head the ball into the back of the net.
In the remaining few minutes we played defensive as we could not afford to lose this local rivalry match. As the final whistle had blown, the injury hit defender had become the local hero as he managed to clinch an important goal.
The scenes afterwards were jubilant and wonderful. Personally, as a local football player I believe it was one of the best ever matches that I had participated in.