David Gregory had a busy last five minutes against Chorley in a game that saw both himself and opposite number Matt Urwin largely unemployed for the rest of the proceedings.
But the Fleet keeper, having given away a late penalty, stepped up to save it and then pull off another fantastic stop to preserve the three points.
And with suggestions that Fleet’s survival rested on his shoulders (and hands and legs!) in those final moments, the 25-year-old brushed off all notions of pressure.
“Pressure doesn’t exist, it’s only something you put on yourself,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “You’ve got to try and deal with the situation as it comes. I tried my hardest, picked a way [to dive] and thankfully it was the right way. Those are quite heavy words [about the end of Ebbsfleet’s chances] but it turns out that if it had gone in, it could be the end of our season in terms of points needed.
“Trust me, it was a big relief for me as well having conceded the penalty, it was just about trying to do your best. I’m just trying to do my job, you can only keep out what you can keep out and you’ve just got to try and throw yourself in front of everything you can.”
There was debate over the award of the penalty, with some observers claiming there was little contact and others saying any contact was outside the box. Gregory agreed with the latter view.
“I initially went to claim it inside the box but for some reason it didn’t make it,” the goalkeeper explained. “I thought it was outside the box but Adrian [Quelch] and his official on the side had a different view. As much as I [disagreed] about it, it was never going to change so it’s about trying to regain focus and save the penalty. I did make contact with him, but just outside the box in my opinion.”
Chorley weren’t done with after the penalty miss and full-back Matt Challoner could and probably should have scored with a low drive on target.
“He made contact with the ball and I saw it going back across me and I just thought I’ve got to throw anything I can at it,” said Gregory. ‘Thankfully my big toe or whatever it was kept it out and we move on, next game, a big cup final coming up against Chesterfield and that’s another imperative three points we have to gain.”
The windy, rainy conditions can’t have helped from a goalkeeper’s point of view either which made Gregory’s clean sheet all the more special.
“It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster towards the end. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us and the conditions were lively, to put it lightly. I’m just glad to get the three points, that was imperative before the game, that was the key aim. That was the most important outcome.
“It’s not ideal conditions to be a goalkeeper – it’s the same for both sides and you’ve got to deal with it. Batten down the hatches and try and keep a clean sheet as best you can no matter what the conditions. It’s always good to keep clean sheets, something to build on this result. It’s for us to keep as many attempts at goal out as possible. Clean sheets have to be the foundation.”
Resting on his laurels is not for Gregory though, who insists Fleet have the belief but have to be up for the next game and the one after that. One of those remaining games includes a home clash against his parent club Boreham Wood, with opposite number Nathan Ashmore in the same boat.
“It’s been a strange season for me,” Gregory admitted. “A situation like that is something I didn’t anticipate happening but it is what it is and with the contracts, if [the clubs] can sort something out between them that’s down to them. I’m here to do the best I can for the squad to keep us up.
“It’s in our hands, it’s a big task, I believe it and everyone else in the changing room believes it. It’s about getting it done and achieving it. I came here to play and to keep us up, that’s why I’m here.”
Listen to interview below.