Jack Midson said he felt he had to pick up the ball to take the late spot-kick against Grays on Saturday, because he had won the penalty.

And he needs goals as much as anyone, having had to play second fiddle to the other strikers for much of the season so far.

The former Histon hit man buried the 90th minute penalty past stand-in keeper Anwar Uddin, the defender having to go in goal because Preston Edwards was sent off for a second yellow card in bringing Midson down in the box.

“I know Anwar as well, I played with him at Dagenham,” Midson told me afterwards.

“I slipped him a little tenner and he dived the wrong way. Well, I think he just fell over!”

With Constable off the field, no-one was sure who should take the penalty to make it 5-0 to the U’s at the end of a one-sided match.

Jamie Cook fancied it, some felt it was the chance for Dannie Bulman to score (he was the only outfield player in United’s starting line-up on yet to find the net) and centre half Mark Creighton was pointing towards young striker Aaron Woodley, who had come on as a sub.

“I don’t really know who is our second penalty-taker,” Midson said. “I guess Greeny, but he was off the pitch.

“Cooky wanted it, I wanted it. In any other circumstances, I would have given it to Aaron. If I hadn’t won it, I would probably have let him take it.

“But coming off the bench, and being in the position I’ve been in, I needed it pretty much as well.”

United manager Chris Wilder said: “I was delighted with Jack’s performance because he’s got a lot to offer this football club. For him to get another two goals, and with Cooky also scoring, was great.”

Midson is becoming something of a super-sub. He’s had four starts and bagged four goals, mainly through his eight substitute appearances.

“I always think of the chances I should have scored, like at Gateshead. The goals I have scored, I’m happy with, but when I get the chances, I’ve got to take them.

“We know the squad is important. Beano and Greeny are on four bookings, so I could be needed to start soon, and Beano got his knock as well. Any time you could come on.

“I was surprised to come on so early. I thought the gaffer would have changed it early in the second half, but not to come on before half-time. But I’m very happy I did.

“The manager had said that, with Kettering not playing, it was a chance to go nine points clear and we wanted to take full advantage of that.

“The only thing I was worried about, for my first goal, was being offside. Grays were coming out, but I stayed onside. Chappy’s (Adam Chapman’s) shot was going wide, I thought I’d just direct it towards goal, and it went in.”

Wilder was delighted that United’s players maintained high standards in the second half, even with the game won by the interval.

“I sensed they were a determined bunch at half-time not to let standards slip, and not to be on the end of a rant from me, and I thought they were excellent second half, a real squad effort.”