GOALSCORING hero Marvin Morgan admits it was a “massive relief” to get off the mark on his home debut in a Hartlepool United shirt.
The 31-year-old scored the winning goal in the 51st minute to send Pools to within six points of safety.
But the on-loan Plymouth Argyle striker admitted he was feeling nervous before the game against Northampton Town because he knew what was at stake.
Town went into the match on the back of five straight league wins, while Pools were stranded, nine points off safety.
While he is still lacking match fitness, Morgan showed his class with a fine, low finish past Matt Duke to seal a precious victory.
Morgan told SportMail: “It is always good to start off on your home debut with a goal.
“It was really nerve wracking before and because it was a massive game and I was brought into the club to score goals.
“If you don’t do that then it looks bad doesn’t it?
“So I was very happy we got the win first and foremost but as striker to score was great too.
“It was a massive relief to get off the mark early, it really is.
“As a striker you are rated on your goals, you can have an unbelievable game but if you don’t score then that is what people talk about.
“That is what you’re rated on and I was delighted to get my first.”
Morgan had few clear cut chances but made it count when one did present itself, Lee Collins with an awful back pass which allowed him to sneak in and score the winner.
He added: “I was kicking myself in the first half because Compo [Jack Compton] put in a great ball and their defender missed it but I wasn’t on my toes and the chance went missing.
“I would have been one-on-one with the keeper then too.
“You have to be on your toes because anything can happen.
“Thankfully I took my chance second half when it came up.
“Northampton had been on a good run but it was a scrappy game and we needed to nullify their play.
“Once we’d done that, we had the better chances in the second-half,” added Morgan.
The experienced frontman has hardly kicked a ball in anger these past two seasons at Plymouth, with injury curtailing his appearances for the Devon side.
His last full 90 minutes came way back in October, with Morgan restricted to sub appearances since.
He admitted he is some way short of full match fitness.
“I have hardly played football in the last two years,” said Morgan.
“I had a great time down at Plymouth and they are a lovely club but in my first season I was out for six months.
“Then it is hard to get back in the team.
“At the end of that season I had a seizure and you think ‘what is going on?’.
“It was hard to get back in the team and I wanted to play football but the body has to get back into it.
“I need to build up my match fitness and then you will see what I can do.
“Aside from the goal I haven’t shown that.
“At the moment I just look like a tall striker that can head the ball but there is much more to my game.”