It’s almost exactly 10 years since Cody McDonald last started and scored in a non-league game but he rolled back the years yesterday to seal Fleet’s win against Braintree Town. The 32-year-old created his side’s first and scored the fourth to put daylight between the Fleet and their visitors with half an hour of the Boxing Day clash remaining.
And renewing his one-time Gillingham partnership with Danny Kedwell, McDonald was pleased to see the old understanding still there.
“It was just a couple of older versions of us but it’s a joy to play in this team,” McDonald told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. There’s some great quality throughout , it’s not all about just me and Keds. The lads put a real good shift in today. We didn’t start the second half as well as what we should, we possibly made it a bit harder than we should have but it sets us up nicely for Saturday.
“Like everyone knows, me and Keds have played together for a long time, we know each other’s games and I’ve set him up early and he’s returned the favour. If we can keep doing that, then that will be perfect.”
Having supplied Kedwell for the game’s opener, the roles were reversed to allow McDonald to open his account for the Fleet.
“Keds has won a good header, a flick-on which I know that he does,” McDonald explained. “I made a run, got on the end of it. I hit it alright to be fair, a little Tommy toe-punt with the old left foot. The keeper, it’s gone through his legs and just crept over the line. That’s not the most important thing today, it’s the three points and I thought the first half, we were excellent. We conceded two sloppy goals that we’re really disappointed with and we just talked about. But take the positives, we scored four goals at home and if you do that every week, you’re going to win.”
McDonald could have had more but for a somewhat flag-happy assistant referee who drew plenty of flak from the main stand occupants and the Fleet striker felt he was unfairly penalised on several occasions.
“Because the ball was coming from so deep, I think he wasn’t giving it from when the ball was being played,” said McDonald. “He was sort of seeing it from when the ball was getting in line with me but I know for a fact I was onside for at least three of them, possibly the last one was offside. Because I like to play on the shoulder, I like to think that after 15 years of doing it, I know how to do it now. It’s a little bit disappointing as I felt like there was a couple more goals for myself there today but the main thing is we won. I’ll keep making those runs and hopefully on Saturday, [the offsides] won’t get given.”
McDonald also felt his goal was long overdue, having had several near misses in recent games where he’s come off the bench.
“I felt like I should have scored a couple so far although I haven’t played a bundle and haven’t played for a long time, eight months or so. But there’s so many positives I’m coming across at the minute because I’m getting in positions and it’s only a matter of time before I start taking all these chances. It’s a real busy schedule. We had a good performance on Saturday [at Fylde], a little disappointed to lose. The first half we were brilliant but we’ve bounced back well and we’ve got another game in a couple of days. We’ll prepare right and we’ll go again.”