Shaun pleased with goal and home winShaun Whalley couldn’t hide his delight after notching his first goal since February to seal Town’s first league win since 3rd September, but he insisted that the result was all down to the team effort.
The winger drove forward from inside his own half to make it 2-0 deep into added time to ensure that manager Paul Hurst extended his unbeaten start to four games.
Whalley admitted his relief after a lengthy absence from the score sheet but he says the result came from the hard work produced by his teammates during the 90 minutes.
“My last goal was against Coventry, and obviously I like to score goals so it’s been a long time coming.
“Ecstatic. Not with my goal, my goal was just one of those things, but with the lads’ performance. I thought we battled really well.
Whalley continued: “First half I thought we played really well, I thought we were on top all half. But in the second half obviously they put a lot of pressure on us and I thought we defended quite well.
“Everyone put their bodies on the line, and we made it quite hard for them, and then luckily its bounced and I’ve gone through and scored and capped a good game off.”
He admitted he was already thinking about being played through on goal earlier in the game, as Oxford were pushing so many players forward and leaving themselves open to a counter.
“I’d already thought about it about five minutes before, I’d already seen that none of the Oxford players were back defending so I thought if I go clean through then I’ll chip the keeper, and I did.”
After a spell out through injury, Whalley was keen to pay tribute to physio Chris Skitt after his goal, and he showed his appreciation but running to the bench to celebrate.
“I said last week if I scored I’d go over to Skitty because he’s had to put up with a lot of me!
“It’s just a little thing to say thank you.”
Like his manager Paul Hurst, who described the Town support on Saturday as “special” – Whalley also praised the atmosphere at Greenhous Meadow, both against Oxford and also in previous games, where things had not gone so well for Town.
“I thought the fans were outstanding today. They’re always outstanding but I thought today it was an unbelievable atmosphere.
Whalley went on: “They always get you going, they love a challenge going in or a good bit of play, and it was good to get a home league win for them.
“It shows me more that when were are getting beat that they’re still behind us and want us to do well.”
Hurst has now overseen three wins in a row – the first time Town have achieved that feat since March – and Whalley revealed that his previous experience of his new manager has given him the belief to be able to make an impact.
“For me personally, he’s tried to sign me a few times so it’s given me a lot of confidence.
“He’s brought an incredible work ethic, everyone works hard and I think you could see that out there.”