Jake Goodman has had to bide his time lately – the premature end to last season delayed his comeback from injury and he’s just completed his three-match suspension this season – but it was all worth the wait as the Gravesend resident won the game for his local side at Chippenham yesterday.
Goodman timed it perfectly to be on hand eight minutes after the break and then again eight minutes from the end to equalise and go on to win the game, his first from Sefa Kahraman’s corner and his second a header courtesy of Lee Martin’s high ball into the box.
The Fleet No.6 even had another eight minutes to hunt down a first-ever hat-trick but he knew there was defending to be done instead.
“I’ve scored a hat-trick in training,” said Goodman after the game, “but that’s about it. One was with my foot, and one I rose like a salmon! It doesn’t matter if it was me, Raks, Marts, whoever gets the goal I don’t really care as long as we get three points going home, that’s all we want on a Saturday. Defending that 2-1, for me that’s more important.”
Not that Goodman might have wanted the match ball even had he scored a third – the new design doesn’t exactly help defenders in the dark!
“It was hard,” he said of the closing stages and conditions. “The water was really starting to seep up on to the grass so you’re judging the bounce, judging the wind. It’s quite difficult to see, it’s dark and then you’ve got a white and black ball – I don’t know who came up with that!
“But everyone knew we had to back each other and as long as we all get around each other, that can beat many a team without then our passing coming on top [of that]. The camaraderie in the group is fantastic.”
It’s been a patient waiting game for Goodman following his sending-off against Dulwich Hamlet, an incident he has been determined to atone for since.
“Obviously I got the sending-off, a bit of red mist in that one and I’ve apologised to the boys on that. I never want to feel like I’ve let people down but that was the case and I gave the ref the option to do that. But I’ve bided my time, I’ve worked hard. I’ve just kept my head down and worked hard in the gym on the Fridays and Saturdays and then with LT to get back in the team.
“We went tactical on Tuesday and we were excellent, Fremps and Sefa have been excellent. To come back in I knew I had to prove something. But first-half again, I wasn’t happy with my own personal performance but the second, I think was a lot better.
“The most important thing was we got the win,” Goodman added. “We can all agree it was nowhere near what we’re capable of in the first half. That’s from everyone, myself included. Me and the other defenders, we’ll look at their goal, look at where we can improve. Again, it’s another cross we’ve conceded from. That has to be addressed and we need to nip it in the bud early doors.”
And the players were left in no doubt as to what was required in the second 45 minutes, said the Fleet goalscorer.
“We demand high standards, the gaffer demands high standards and we got what we deserved at half-time from the gaffer. We needed it and everyone bit down, we had a bit about us, and we had to come back and fight for the three points.”