Gainsborough Trinity midfielder Simon Russell says that his side’s 1-1 draw with Vauxhall Motors was valuable for momentum as they approach the festive period.
The former Alfreton Town man produced a stunning strike to rescue a point for the Blues after Matthew Williams had given the visitors the lead in the second half.
Of the festive season, Russell said: “It’s going to be a tough time for us. We haven’t got the biggest squad and we face a lot of games in a short period of time.
“So it’s good to get a bit of momentum and decent form.”
“We’ve come away with a point today in a game that we’d have certainly have lost earlier in the season.”
Reflecting on the game, Russell admitted that the Blues were far from their best, but he was pleased with his own goal to equalise.
“A draw was probably a fair result – we were well on top at the end, but they had the better of the first half.
“Neither side really did themselves justice today,” he added.
“I nearly played Liam Davis in for my goal, but (Darryn) Stamp held it up well for me and it was just a bit of instinct – we needed a goal and it felt great when I hit it.”
After losing Dan Clayton to North Ferriby, Trinity narrowed their midfield into a diamond with Jonathan Williams sitting in front of the back four, and the early signs were encouraging for the Blues with Russell and Josh Wilde going close early on.
In the shadow of Tuesday’s exhilarating show against Brackley Town, the game struggled to get going in the face of a stiff breeze and cold conditions, with both sides content to sit in possession as the first half progressed and neither creating a gilt-edged opportunity.
The second half saw renewed verve from the home side, with Wootton drawing a firm stop from Zac Jones in the Vauxhall goal and Callum Howe heading narrowly wide within five minutes of the restart, but couldn’t find the breakthrough.
The deadlock was then broken by the visitors, who pounced on a missed clearance to stun the Northolme crowd.
With the ball bouncing around the edge of the Trinity box, Toner took a big swing to clear and scuffed the ball to Williams, who took advantage of the bouncing ball to lash the ball past Phil Barnes off the underside of the bar.
The visitors could have had a second ten minutes later, but were denied by the post after Steve Tames’ shot from distance had Barnes beaten.
The introduction of Stamp and Davis gave the Blues a more balanced look to the formation, and with twelve minutes to go they were level.
With Stamp holding the ball up for Russell a full 25 yards from goal, the midfielder launched a rocket-powered shot into Jones’ top corner – the ball still going up as it hit the roof of the net.
With their tails well and truly up, the Blues pushed for a winner and so nearly got it when Stamp produced a spectacular overhead kick in stoppage time, only to see it bounce off the wrong side of the post.
Trinity: Barnes, Roma, Howe, Young, McMahon, Russell, Toner, Williams (Stamp 62), Barraclough, Wootton (Davis 75). Subs:Lacey, Batty, Ward-Lockwood
Vauxhall: Jones, Fearnhough, Barnes, Hannigan, Nicholas, Noone, Clair, Williams, Tames, Ellams, Kosylo (Rutter 90). Subs:Wainwright, Hughes, Scott
Yellow: L. Barnes (39), Kosylo (44), Ellams (90+1)
Goals: M.Williams (57), Russell (78)