Harry McKirdy made a full professional debut to remember as he bagged his first senior goal on his full professional debut to secure a 2-1 win at Mansfield Town yesterday in his first game since last Christmas.
The 19-year-old Aston Villa loanee has been out injured but has come on from the bench in recent games to show what he can do.
At Mansfield he blazed a lone trail from inside his own half on a spectacular breakaway before beating Scott Shearer with a perfect finish.
“It was a great day,” he smiled.
“The lads have been playing well and we just thought we needed a turning point. So to come here and grind out a win, that’s what we need to do.”
Not the biggest of players, McKirdy did not find it easy against Stags’ big defenders. But the referee had little sympathy.
“I thought he was going to feel sorry for me, but not today. I think he enjoyed it,” said McKirkdy.
With the game level at 1-1, McKirdy became the hero just three minutes after Pat Hoban’s second half equaliser as Stags lost the ball while in the Stevenage half and were caught on the break.
McKirdy had an awful lot to do, picking up the ball in the centre circle in his own half. But he managed to evade the pursuing Lee Collins and finish in style.
“I was blowing,” he smiled. “The goal looked miles away. It was an 800m run. I just needed for the keeper to go down so when he did I was relieved and put it over him. I was struggling for breath.
“I could hear him (Collins). I could feel him on me. The keeper went down at the right time.”
He also felt he might have had a penalty, saying: “It was straight on my head and I got a little shove in the back and I thought I’d won a penalty. But I got booked.”
Now he hopes to build on his day to remember.
“I will take it game by game,” he said.
“We have another game next weekend and I will just try to carry on my form and get some more goals and keep winning.
“They are a good set of lads but I do get a bit of stick as they don’t think I am that clever. But I am enjoying it.”