DAVE Kitson was irritated with himself as he thought a tenth booking of the season had taken the gloss off scoring a dramatic late winner for Oxford United.
The 33-year-old leapt to head in a 91st-minute cross from David Hunt to claim a 2-1 win against Dagenham & Redbridge, sending the home fans at the Kassam Stadium wild.
It kept the U’s one point clear at the top of Sky Bet League Two.
Kitson was yellow carded, which was believed to have triggered a two-match suspension, but United have been boosted by the news he is available for the trip to York City on Saturday.
The Football Association's record show he has nine bookings for the season, as his two yellows against Exeter City in October count as a red card and are not included in the tally of bookings.
At the time, Kitson was frustrated with his actions.
He said: “It’s just annoying and above all I’m missing a chance to play another game.
“At my age there aren’t many games left, so I’m annoyed with myself and it has taken the gloss off it for me to be honest.”
He added: “I was just feeling really fit and good about myself and enjoying playing.
“The team are playing great and now somebody else will come in and I have to win my shirt back again, which is unnecessary and I’m disappointed with myself.”
One area in which the experienced forward had no complaint was the cross for his third goal of the season.
Just as with his late header at Fleetwood Town a fortnight earlier, the pinpoint delivery came from Hunt.
Kitson put it down to hard work done during the week.
He said: “It was a fantastic cross and that doesn’t happen by fluke.
“David was out there on Friday training, he must have hit 50, 60, 70 balls from exactly that position at the end of training for Asa Hall and Johnny Mullins, who were practising their heading.
“Every one of them was a great ball that you could have scored from.
“Because of the way it came to him he could only hit it one way, which was to out swing it.
“He hit it in such a fantastic area, the goalkeeper couldn’t come for it, the defender couldn’t back pedal quick enough and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place to head it.”
James Constable put the hosts ahead with an overhead kick to move within five goals of setting the club’s all-time record.
Kitson reserved the highest praise for the United No 9: “It reminded me of a (Dimitar) Berbatov finish when (Reading) played Spurs.
“He backed in, nudged the defender out of the way, turned and spun. It was absolutely identical and he caught another one sweetly at the end.
“There’s nothing wrong with his finishing, 100-plus goals and I desperately hope he can get the record. Hopefully we can help him do that.”