Adam Chapman described scoring his first goal for more than two years as “an unbelievable feeling” – although he admitted it was also a complete fluke.
The 22-year-old spectacularly netted direct from a corner in Oxford United’s 2-2 draw at home to Torquay United on Easter Monday.
It was a special moment for the midfielder, who returned to the U’s this season after spending 14 months in a young offenders institution for causing death by dangerous driving.
Chapman, who missed a penalty in the 2-1 defeat at Northampton Town on Good Friday, had not scored since netting the winner against Rushden & Diamonds in February 2010.
He said: “For it to be at that (the Oxford Mail) end as well in front of all those fans was great – they were all brilliant with me, even on Friday when I missed the penalty.
“The fans stuck by me and carried on supporting me, I didn’t believe it had gone in, but I turned to them and they were jumping up and down and screaming.
“It was an unbelievable feeling and I loved every second of it.”
As for whether the curler into the top corner was deliberate, Chapman made no attempt to claim it as a moment of genius.
“It was probably the worst corner I’ve taken in my life,” he said.
“I just thought ‘oh no, what am I doing’. But the crowd went up and Scotty (Rendell) was running over and I wondered just how it had gone in.”
The U’s conceded late goals in both their Easter fixtures, which means they have picked up just one point from their last three games.
They remain in the npower League Two play-off positions with four games left, but now only by goal difference.
Chapman insists the players are still optimistic and is happy for the teams around them to believe United’s season is unravelling.
“I don’t mind them thinking that one little bit because it might look that way if you just look at the results,” he said.
“Morecambe (where the U’s suffered a 2-1 defeat) we know wasn’t up to it, but in the last two, I feel we’ve been pretty decent and we just need that little break.
“If the other teams want to think that, let them, because it’s still in our own hands.
“We want it more than anybody, there’s no doubt about that.
“We just don’t want to get to the stage where we’re feeling the pressure and panicking.
“We want to relax and play like we did in the second half against Torquay.
“Hopefully it will come in the next four games, I’m more than confident it will.”