Trinity hero King so relieved to atone for backpass blunder

Villain-turned-hero Craig King spoke of his enormous relief after grabbing a dramatic last-minute equaliser for Gainsborough Trinity at Southport on Saturday.

Midfielder Craig King, who atoned for his earlier error by scoring Trinitys dramatic last-minute equaliser. (PHOTO BY: James Williamson)
Midfielder Craig King, who atoned for his earlier error by scoring Trinitys dramatic last-minute equaliser. (PHOTO BY: James Williamson)

Attacking midfielder King dropped a clanger that led to Southport’s opening goal ten minutes into the second half. And when the home side went 2-1 up with just four minutes to play, it looked as if he had cost Trinity all three points.

But with just seconds remaining, he charged down a clearance from Sandgrounders’ defender Dom Smith and went on to beat the ‘keeper to earn his side a highly creditable 2-2 draw.

“I just felt so relieved,” the 27-year-old King told the club’s YouTube channel after the game. “The backpass that led to Southport’s first goal was my fault and shouldn’t have happened. I was so relieved that I was able to rectify it and bring us level at the end.

“When they scored, it was a horrible feeling and I had to get to grips with myself for five minutes or so. I tried to put it right a few times, and when the chance fell for me in the last minute, all that was going through my head was: you’d better score this!

“It was a good decision to stay on my feet, rather than slide in, and the defender’s clearance just hit me in my stomach. The ball dropped for me really nicely, and as the ‘keeper came out, I knew there was just one thing I had to do, which was put it round him. Thankfully, I slotted it past him.”

The draw left Trinity in the bottom four of the Vanarama National League North table, but built on the euphoria surrounding their FA Cup success the previous week.

It wasn’t an easy game considering Southport were on a high after appointing former England, Bolton and Chesterfield striker Kevin Davies as their new manager during the week.

The weather also wreaked havoc, with a strong, raging wind and driving rain, and King admitted conditions were “horrendous” to play in. “When the ‘keeper kicked it from the goalmouth in the second half, the ball was going straight back towards him,” he said.

“The conditions weren’t good at all, but I thought we dealt with them quite well.”