Hartlepool United captain Ryan Donaldson reveals what was going through his head as teammates shouted around him ahead of match-winning goal
Ryan Donaldson got off the mark for the season as he helped Hartlepool United secure their third successive victory with a 1-0 triumph at Barrow on Tuesday night.
After a strong first half display from the Bluebirds, Pools kept their composure as the game wore on as Gime Toure played in Donaldson who slotted in the would-be winner.
It was a seamless breakaway goal and one the skipper was delighted to get after putting his injury troubles behind him.
The 28-year-old missed all of pre-season and the opening two National League games due to a calf injury but has since recovered remarkably with some eye-catching displays – the latest of which came at Holker Street on Tuesday evening.
“It felt great to score,” Donaldson admitted.
“The lads have been terrific last couple of games and it’s been a tough workload after the travelling on Saturday. I’ve just been trying to get back close to 100% after missing pre-season, I’ve just been working to get that sharpness back.
“The manager obviously chucked me in tonight and I got my second 90-minutes of the season and I feel like I’m getting stronger and it’s nice to contribute with the goal.
“We need as many people as we can contributing goals and it’s nice to get off the mark.”
Donaldson ran from 10-yards inside the Barrow half with the ball before calmly slotting it beyond Joel Dixon in the Barrow goal.
He had plenty of time to think and choose his spot, but he also had more than enough time to be put off and overthink things.
“I had Gime on my left shoulder shouting ‘wait, wait’, I had Nobsa [Liam Noble] about 20-yards behind me screaming ‘loads of time, loads of time’ so I just had to blank that out and pick a corner,” he smiled.
“I had a chance in the first half where it just got stuck under my feet a bit and I just thought I’d say to myself this time, pick a corner and if it goes in it goes in.
“Thankfully it did and I was pleased with it – nice goal, nice finish!”