Harry McKirdy marked his first start in professional football with the winning goal in Stevenage’s 2-1 win at Mansfield Town on Saturday.
After four sub appearances for Boro in the past month – which included an equaliser against Brighton in the Checkatrade Trophy – Harry was handed his first start in any game since last Christmas and came up trumps with an excellent strike at the One Call Stadium.
He told us, “It’s a great day. The lads have been playing well and we just needed that turning point. It’s been disappointing at home over the last couple of weeks where we haven’t managed to win. In the first half today we didn’t play that well but we ground out a win and that’s what we need to do to get up the table.”
“We’ve been playing well recently but not been going ahead. So to get the start and get the goal today gave us confidence. We said at half-time let’s go and win this game. They equalised but then we showed the fight and the togetherness to get the win and hold on. You can see what it means to the players, the gaffer and the fans to win.”
Harry’s goal came when Ben Kennedy flicked the ball into his path and the Aston Villa loanee sprinted the length of the Mansfield half before dinking the ball over Scott Shearer and into the back of the net.
Talking us through the goal, he said, “The goal looked miles away! It felt like an 800 metre run but I kept running, waited for the ‘keeper to go down and then lifted it over him. I could hear the covering defender, I could feel him on me but the ‘keeper went down at the right time.”
It could have been more for Harry when he went close to converting a Kennedy cross 10 minutes later in the half, but instead he was cautioned for handball. Explaining that one, he said, “I got a little shove in the back. The cross was straight on my head, but I got a shove and then I heard the whistle so I thought we had a penalty, only to be booked!”
With two goals in five games Harry has certainly caught the eye in this his first loan spell in professional football, but he remains focused to continue improving.
“I’ve just got to keep taking it game by game. We’ve got another game at Port Vale in the FA Cup next Saturday and hopefully we can carry on our form, get some more goals and keep winning.
“I’m loving it here. It’s the first time I’ve been involved in first-team league football. There’s a good set of lads here and everyone’s been really good to me.”