Strikers thoughts after winning goal after rejoining Town
Shrewsbury Town striker Stefan Payne has admitted he was eager to be involved before he came on and netted the winner in Salop’s 3-2 win over Rochdale on Saturday afternoon.
It was a see-saw game at the Montgomery Waters Stadium as the visitors initially took the lead through a Steve Davies penalty, before Shaun Whalley levelled the scores with a spot-kick of his own on the half-hour mark, and Carlton Morris tapped in shortly after to hand Town a 2-1 lead.
Rochdale fought back in the second period and eventually scored an equaliser through another Davies penalty, although second-half substitute Payne was on hand to fire in Paul Hurst’s side’s winner in the 74th minute.
The goal marked Payne’s second debut for Town after joining the club from Barnsley earlier this week, as well as spending time on loan at the club last season, and he told reporters after the match that he had been eager to make an impact from the moment he stepped onto the pitch.
“I was itching to get on, especially when it was at 2-2,” Payne said. “You always play it in your mind about coming on and getting the winner, and it doesn’t always pan out that way but thankfully today it did.
“It was a great performance,” he added. “Personally, I think we’ve come on miles from last year. It was just unfortunate with the two penalties, but we dug in and showed character to get the win.”
Payne’s first debut for the Shrews ended prematurely with an injury, in contrast, this time round he was able to find the net within five minutes of being on the pitch, a fact he was delighted with.
“It’s much better than my first debut wasn’t it,” he laughed “It’s good to be able to come on, get a goal and contribute to the three points.
“I was just thinking to hit the target, because then you’ve always got a chance. I saw the keeper going down, so I thought if I go high I’ve got a big chance.
“Last year I came here, got injured, and then it took a while to get my first goal. This year I’ve come in and scored within five minutes – that’s just football.”
The 25-year-old striker was also keen to emphasise that morale was high in the Town camp, as well as the fact he was relishing the upcoming battle for first-team places.
“It’s early days, but the morale is very high,” he continued. “We’ve won three in three now, and we’ve just got to keep going and take each games as it comes. No one’s getting carried away at this stage, but we’re going to enjoy it while we can.
“There’s a lot of competition all around the park, so from my point of view I want to put pressure on the centre-forwards and I’m sure they’ll look to put pressure on me as well.”