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That goal was for Daz and Dave

IF Jason Walker’s goal was the fairytale of the FA Trophy final, Lee McEvilly’s was the feel-good story.

The 28-year-old striker returned to Barrow two months ago for a second spell, and by his own admission failed to fire.

But the big, physical front man paid back the faith shown in him by bosses Darren Sheridan and Dave Bayliss in spades at Wembley with the 79-minute header that drew the Bluebirds level and sent the 8,000 fans in blue and white into dreamland.

McEvilly thanked the AFC bosses for their support and dedicated the goal both to them and to his three-year-old son Jack, who was also on the field at the start of the match as a mascot.

“The two gaffers have been amazing with me,” he said. “They have put a lot of faith in me, which I haven’t repaid in the way I would like to. I hope that goal today counts for everything.

“I’ve have had a season to forget to be fair. But these two dug me out of a hole. I was at rock bottom six months ago, I was having problems with my shins. These two stuck by me and I’ve dedicated the goal to my child but also to these two because these two are my friends.

“I’ve played with Dave and I’ve played against him, and now I’m playing for him and I want to thank these two for bringing me back – so that was their goal, for them two, as well as for my child.”

McEvilly admitted he thought his crucial header from a Paul Rutherford cross was going wide after making contact, but then his mind went blank.

He had meant to run and celebrate in front of his son, but was so caught up in the moment he slid down in front of an empty stand.

“As the ball has come over, I’ve headed it back and I’m thinking, at first glance, that it’s gone wide,” he said. “But then it’s in and there’s nothing in my mind. I wanted to dedicate it to my son, who was here today and he was off to the side, but I actually ran to the open end and there were no fans there! It was a great achievement for myself, my lad and my whole family today.”

The goal, which was followed by Jason Walker’s extra-time winner for Barrow was the most important of McEvilly’s career according to the quietly-spoken big man.

But he also stressed he was not the only man on the field and added: “I’m a bit shocked by it all. It means a lot to me in my career – but it’s not just me whose happy in the changing room, there’s another 25 lads in there.

“To score here, to bring the team back and to win something is a great achievement and it probably is the best of my career, especially in a ground like this in front of a crowd like it was today.

“It’s not the best goal I’ve ever scored but it’s the most important goal I’ve ever scored, not for myself but for those 25 other lads in there. It’s not all about me, it was a team effort.”

Have your say

Well done AFC, we're behind you all the way!

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