Match-winner Jai Rowe couldn’t hide his delight on Tuesday night as he aided the side to all three points against Walsall.
The 20-year-old was fastest to react to Ross Millen’s free-kick which cannoned back into play off the upright, heading the ball into an unguarded net. He was then an integral part of the side keeping a well-deserved clean sheet, twice putting his body on the line to thwart goalscoring opportunities.
Reacting to the game to iFollow Iron, he said: “It’s an amazing feeling to have scored the winner. We’ve needed it, and I think the boys stuck together well.
“It was a great free-kick from Ross, and I just thought to follow it up and luckily it dropped straight to me. In COVID times, I scored that dodgy goal (at Exeter), but with the fans here, it being home, and we needed it, my head went a little bit. It was a great feeling.”
Rowe alluded to the highs and lows of football, and how the group looked to react following the defeat to Oldham Athletic at the weekend. He also spoke of the togetherness in the squad, and how the side can use the result going forward.
“It was a brilliant reaction from the boys,” he continued.
“In the first 10 minutes, we put ourselves under a bit of pressure, but we got through it, and then the same in the last 10 minutes. Overall, I thought it was a good performance and the boys stuck together and worked hard.
“The group that we’ve got, we can definitely get right back in there. We’ve just got to carry on to Saturday now, all stay together, and go get another three points.
“We grafted well on Tuesday. The boys were knackered afterwards, but that’s what we need to do in this league to get three points. I feel sorry for Pughy (Tom Pugh, who was sent off for two bookable offences) - I thought it was the other way to be honest. He will get on with it, he’s a good player, and we move onto the next game.”
With Pugh harshly dismissed for a second caution, Rowe found himself playing the remainder of the game at left-back.
Having been thrust from right-back to centre-half and then into central midfield, the latest position is another string to his bow as he himself continues to develop as a player. Saturday’s match at Swindon will also be a reminder of where it all started for the former Barwell player, as the County Ground was where he made his EFL debut.
“I’ll always cover wherever I’m needed. I’ll do a job and try my hardest, wherever I’m asked to play,” he said.
“All we’re focused on now is getting another three points. We have to recover, prepare properly, and go and get another result.
“It (my EFL debut) was a good day for me and my family, so it’ll be nice to go back there, but we want to go there this time and get a result.”
See much more from Jai Rowe and Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.