Seamus Conneely admitted it was a relief to get off the mark with almost the final kick of the final game of the league season.
The Stanley skipper has said for a while he was frustrated not to find the back of the net this season and then, at Stevenage on Saturday, he won a penalty in injury time with the Reds already 2-0 up.
“I, along with Scotty Brown, have been getting stick for not scoring so, with us comfortable in the final ten minutes, I tried to get myself further forward,” said the 28-year-old.
“I managed to nip in front of the defender and I went down. With Billy (Kee) off the pitch, Shay (McCartan) is next in line to take penalties but I asked him if I could take the penalty.
“I pulled rank but Shay didn’t mind and it was great to see it go in as it was almost the last kick of the game. It was a relief if I am honest.”
Conneely said that Stanley, who after a 15 game unbeaten run had lost their previous two matches, knew Stevenage would feel the pressure as they were challenging for a play-off place.
Last season, Darren Sarll’s side drew 0-0 with Stanley on the final day of the season which meant the Reds missed out on automatic promotion.
“I think they felt the pressure. They felt like we did last year, at home, in front of a big crowd and needing to win.
“It’s not easy and we were able to take advantage. We had one clear chance before the break, through Janoi Donacien, and were unlucky not to be 1-0 up.
“In the second half we were clearly the better team and we had three or four chances before Shay won the penalty which Billy converted and then Billy got the second and we saw the game out comfortably.
“We wanted to finish on a high and 65 points is a decent return. It is a shame we couldn’t carry our unbeaten run on to the end of the season and see where it would have taken us but we have plenty to build on for next season.
“The gaffer has been saying it’s the first time he won’t lose the majority of his players on a free and hopefully we can carry the momentum into next season and challenge for a top seven place.
“He will bring a few players in to strengthen the squad and we are all looking forward now.
“In the two and a half years I have been here, it’s all been positive. Last season was great, except the end and that still hurts, but this season has been good.
“65 points is a decent return and the cup runs have been great – going to Middlesbrough and West Ham – and beating Burnley in the league cup was the highlight.
“We will have a rest and then come back stronger.”