As he found himself sidelined with a longstanding knee injury, Marc Newsham questioned whether he had scored his last goal for Boston United.
But on Saturday the striker answered his own doubts in style as he returned to the Pilgrims scoresheet, slotting home a 74th-minute equaliser to earn a draw against a resolute Brackley Town side.
“It’s been a long time coming, but it was really nice to contribute to the team,” said Newsham after netting his first goal in 10 months.
“It’s been really frustrating for me injury-wise.
“We needed a goal today and luckily I was there to get it.”
Newsham joked that Saturday’s goal was ‘put together by tape’ as it was fellow substitute Jamie McGhee - also returning from a tendonitis of the knee injury - who played the initial cross into the box.
The close-range tap-in would by no means make it onto a list of Newsham’s top 10 goals for Boston United, but for the player and club it was a significant moment in his rehabilitation.
“There have been some really, really low points but I’d like to thank the club, the gaffer, the chairman and fans for sticking by me when I’ve been injured,” he added.
“It is part of football but it’s frustrating and it’s taken a lot longer than we believed it would do.
“Hopefully, I’m over the worst of it.”
Sam Whittall had given Brackley a 17th-minute lead as he made the most of some sloppy defending to convert a free header from a corner.
Going a goal down to the Saints is never a wise move and Jon Brady’s side don’t have one of the Vanarama North’s stingiest defensive records by way of a fluke.
Therefore it proved to be a frustrating afternoon for United as they carved out plenty of chances but struggled to get the better of keeper Dean Snedker.
The keeper was in the right place to stop David Fallah’s 20-yard strike and Newsham’s header.
Mark Jones was the Pilgrims’ spark in attack and his running and direct approach proved a constant threat.
However, he should have done better with two headed chances while Zeph Thomas watched his stabbed effort squirm wide of the mark.
Mix those missed chances in with plenty of negative timewasting from the away side and some over-officious whistleblowing from referee Alf Greenwood and you were left with a match which didn’t really deliver as much as it promised before kick off.
However, none of that mattered one bit to Marc Newsham.