Shaun Batt felt as a sense of relief as his first Barnet goal clinched a 3-2 comeback win over Hartlepool United on Saturday – but only once he was sure the offside flag wasn’t going to be raised!
Pools 2-0 up at The Hive thanks to goals from Nathan Thomas and Padraig Amond when Batt was brought on ten minutes into the second half.
The striker, who joined the Bees on a free transfer from Leyton Orient last summer, was thrown on to help rescue something from the game and did just that.
John Akinde and Luke Gambin struck to get Martin Allen’s men on level terms before Batt, with just ten minutes remaining, turned home Curtis Weston’s cross from the left to win it in dramatic fashion.
If Batt’s celebrations failed to confirm his delight at breaking his Barnet duck, he was all too happy to talk about his big moment afterwards.
"I kind of thought I’d hear a whistle or see the offside flag go up," Batt said. "After ten seconds I realised it would probably stand – it was a relief.
"I gambled. I judged the flight of the ball and realised the defender would miss it. I knew I was close to the goal so I knew I had to get a good contact and guide it past the keeper.
"The manager just told me to go and attack. I could afford to stay up front and not do as much defending as I would normally do with us being 2-0 down. He told me to change the game and luckily that was what I did.
"It was a nice game for me because when the game is stretched I have that licence to stay wide, push forward and bring some energy to the team."
It is no secret that things have not gone to plan for Batt since he moved to The Hive last summer with injuries intervening at inopportune times.
The 29-year-old say the support of his family is what has got him through a challenging period of his career.
"I’m no different to any other person; we all have hard times in life and it’s how you bounce back from them which counts," he said.
"You never give up and keep the faith and I have got some reward today which I will take heart from.
"My family and friends are the people who have picked me up. Sometimes it’s not even a case of needing someone to talk to about that specific thing; sometimes it’s just having people around to not talk to about it.
"Normal people who I can hang around with who don’t constantly how I’m getting on. Sometimes it’s the worst thing in the world everyone asking you when you’re going to be fit or how long you will be out for.
"Sometimes you just need to get away from it. I am lucky to have that with my daughter and family that I can take myself away from it and have a break.
"People don’t realise how hard an environment it can be at times – it’s not all roses, there are a lot of downs which come with the ups."
And with seven points gained from the last three games, Batt is looking forward rather than back as the Bees look to use their recent run of form as a springboard for further momentum.
"Hopefully this can be the launch pad," said Batt. "The hard work isn’t done. We’ve had three good results and we will prepare for Saturday’s game and look to build more momentum to carry this form on."