Danny Kedwell was as mystified as most inside the Kuflink Stadium when his second ‘goal’ was chalked off by referee Josh Smith. As the game headed into the final eight minutes of normal time, Kedwell latched on to a forward ball and outmuscled defender Kyle Jameson prior to despatching a shot past goalkeeper Joel Dixon. Mr Smith’s whistle put paid to premature celebrations and Fleet had to battle on as Barrow went in search of the equaliser.
“I didn’t touch him, he’s run into me,” Kedwell said of the incident, in conversation with BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “He’s gone up for a header, missed it completely and barged into me. I just stood my ground so I can’t understand. [The referee] had it in for me all day, I don’t think he gave me one foul all day. I had people on my back, pulling my shirt and he wasn’t having any of it. There was a definite penalty, he’s pulled me down as well at the beginning of the game. Maybe if I didn’t have the shot he might have given it but it’s a definite penalty, he’s dragged my shirt down. Maybe it’s my reputation, big man up front, he thinks I can handle it. But I don’t care, I got the goal and three points. It’s nice to be on the scoresheet at home and I should have had another one, it was … a stupid decision.”
Kedwell admitted his side at times were on the receiving end from Barrow but pointed out that it was a role reversal of what Fleet had done to other sides earlier in the season and come away with no reward.
“We got a bit battered today,” he said. “This is what happened to us at the beginning of the season. We were dominating games and not winning them so it’s turned around for us and we got the three points. We defended brilliantly from front to back. They had a lot of the ball today and we managed to hold out for the result, defend well and keep our shape.”
The winner came in the first half after Barrow had spurned some excellent chances and then made a mistake at the back.
“I got in behind, didn’t I – my pace?” Kedwell joked. “I just gambled, Bushy picked the ball up quick and I just thought I’d get in behind as you can’t be offside from a throw-in and I couldn’t believe my luck really. It was a very tight angle as well so I had to make sure I got it right in that corner and I did.”
And the Fleet striker felt it cancelled out the personal disappointment he felt about Maidstone’s equaliser in midweek.
“Tuesday night I got blocked and it was my man who scored,” he said. “Very frustrating because since I’ve been here not one of the people I’m defending against has scored. I got blocked by my own player which is even worse. We could have won [Tuesday’s] game 1-0 if it weren’t for me so today was good to score the goal and get us three points.”
And with recent rumours flying about the camp about various players, Kedwell claimed he was unaware of any interest in him, contrary to terrace tittle-tattle.
“There’s always rumours,” he countered. “I ain’t got a clue! No-one’s rung me or told me or the gaffer. I put in what I do on the pitch, it’s the first I’ve heard of it!”
And of the recent financial situation, he said: “You knew you were always going to get paid. I don’t know what’s going on but [the owner] has put his money in this club. It might be one day, two days late, whatever. The good thing is we’ve got a good group and we get on with it and we play 110% for Daryl and Abdulla. There’s only so much you can do in a changing room to get us motivated. It all counts outside on the pitch and we all dug in together and done a shift. It was massive, we needed that result, especially at home.”
Kedwell was left nursing a painful toe injury at the end of the game but the man who super-glued his achilles last season doesn’t see any reason why he’ll miss the forthcoming Cheltenham cup tie.
“I carried on today, there was 20 minutes left and a nasty tackle on my foot, on the side of my toe,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll be all right, I’m not missing that [FA Cup] game. I’m old school – you’ve just got to out there and perform even if you’ve got little niggles and that’s the sort of person I am.”