STEVEN Taylor had a premonition he’d find the net on his return to the Newcastle United side.
But the defender was still pinching himself when his dream came true.
Taylor netted what turned out to be the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Birmingham City.
It was the 25-year-old’s first strike since September 2009, Taylor having endured a torrid 17 months of injuries since he suffered a knee injury midway through last season.
Taylor returned to the starting XI in place of Mike Williamson, ruled out for the season after breaking a bone in his forearm last week, and he seized his opportunity with both hands.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” Taylor said. “The main thing was to win the game, get safety, and we’ve done that.
“The goal was something special – it’s been a long time coming! It’s been a frustrating season for me with injuries, so I was just happy to play my part.
“I’d been waiting for an opportunity, and it came along. I just want to make the most of these games and help the team.”
Taylor charged half the length of the East Stand after heading a Joey Barton corner past Ben Foster, the celebration reminiscent of his Forrest Gump-style run after he netted his first goal for the club against Celta Vigo in 2006.
“I said before the game to a couple of people I’d score and I just attacked the header,” Taylor went on.
“The delivery from Joey was fantastic. He put it in a great spot and it was up to me and the rest of the lads to get a head on it and stick it in the back of the net.
“I think you could tell from the celebration how happy I was. Once I set off, no-one was going to catch me!”
Taylor’s goal two minutes before the break came after Shola Ameobi had opened the scoring from the penalty spot, Liam Ridgewell having handled in the box.
Frustratingly for United, former Newcastle midfielder Lee Bowyer halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time.
“I thought we played very well, back to front and they couldn’t cope with our passing,” said Taylor.
“We were a bit disappointed at half time. It was a bit of a shank from Lee Bowyer off Coloccini’s leg. But we came out in the second half and did what we had to do. I thought we passed them off the park.”