Winger Delighted With First League Start And Goal
Match winner Shaun Whalley admitted he was ‘over the moon’ when his last-gasp goal helped Town take all three points at near-neighbours Crewe Alexandra.
The keenly contested fixture was heading into added time poised at 1-1 before Whalley cut inside his man and curled a delightful left-footed effort into the far corner of the net, sending the 1200-plus travelling support into raptures.
With all this coming in the former Luton Town man’s first start in League One, he admitted his full League One debut couldn’t have gone any better.
“There’s not many better ways to win a football game than a last minute winner, no matter who scores it. But I was delighted to win the game.
“I wanted Jean-Louis to play the ball in front of me but he’s played it a little bit behind me so I’ve had to come back on my left foot. But I just thought I would hit it and luckily it went in.
“I was over the moon. I can’t explain what it means to me. I was just delighted.”
The 28-year-old, who once had a trial at Crewe, was full of praise for his team mates in what he described as a ‘big win’.
“I thought we were on top first half,” said Shaun. “I thought we played really well.
“We obviously got the goal and then they scored a bit against the run of play. Second half they were on top for quite a bit but we dug in and the lads defended brilliantly and then we nicked the winner in the end.
“It was a great goal by Larny (Larnell Cole), another left-footed goal with his weak foot.
“I thought all the lads were tremendous today. We battled when we had to, we kept possession when we had to and we scored goals when we had to. We’ve done all of those things and got the win.
“It’s just good to get the three points. It was a big win because of the three points really and it gives us a bit of momentum going into the next game now. I thought we deserved the win and I thought some of the stuff we played was first-class.”
Shaun, who only found out he was playing at the pre-match meal, was thrilled to have the backing of the tremendous travelling support who he believes gave him the confidence to go and play his natural game.
“I’ll be honest I thought the crowd was different class today,” admitted Shaun.
“I came out before the game and there was a lot there then and that was just when we were warming up. I think the support today was unbelievable and it certainly helped me first-half when I was a little bit, not nervous as such but looking to get into the game and they gave me a lot of confidence.”
With Manager Micky Mellon claiming the winger had been unlucky to be left out of the team recently due to the impressive form of Cole and Sullay Kaikai, Shaun admitted to being disappointed at not playing, but continued to work hard to get that opportunity.
“I’d like to think I’ve got a good mentality and no matter what happens I’ll just keep going and do well in training and the reserve games that I play,” said Shaun.
“Luckily I’ve got my chance today and I hope I’ve done enough to play in the next game.
“I know I can play in this league. I haven’t been in it before but I’ve had a lot of years where I’ve let football just pass me by but now I’m fully focussed on playing football and that’s all I want to do.
“I’m not one to have regrets but now I know I need to make the most of my chances.
“I can’t stand here and lie and say I’m not disappointed with not playing because it’s just my nature that I want to play every game. But the manager’s had his reasons and that’s fair and I respect him as a manager.
“But he’s given me a chance today and hopefully I’ve taken that chance and I’ll get another game and we’ll see where we go from there.
“I don’t look too far ahead. I just want to start the next game and win it. That’s my only aim at this time.”