Debut delight for Rohdell Gordon as he stars in St Albans City's win over Maidstone
PUBLISHED: 12:29 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:01 23 January 2020
Rohdell Gordon made an instant impression with a man of the match performance for St Albans City in their 1-0 win over Maidstone United - and if he has his way then this is just the beginning.
The former Stevenage and Royston Town winger arrived at Clarence Park from Walton Casuals on Thursday night and although he was named on the bench, an injury to Jamie Fielding on 15 minutes meant he was thrust into the action earlier than expected.
And along with having a hand in the winner, a cross that the unfortunate Ross Marshall diverted into his own net, the 23-year-old showed both silky running and tenacious tackling to delight his new fans.
"It wasn't a bad start was it," said the bubbly forward after the match. "I came on early but I settled in quite well and the team were always encouraging me.
"I wanted to get back to doing what I know I do best, which is playing football and when I got the call from the gaffer and Chris [Winton] I knew I was ready to step up.
"I want to push on beyond the National South but I'm ready to bring some excitement here, bring some goals and bring some assists.
"I'm a creative player and that's what I want to bring to this team to help them climb the table.
"I've played against St Albans many times in my career and this team shouldn't be where it is.
"But we're there for a reason so it's now time to pick ourselves up and lift ourselves up the table."
And his first impressions are not of a club in turmoil, thanks partly to the success.
He said: "Maidstone were eighth in the table and pushing for the play-offs, they are a good side, but if you look at the game we looked quite comfortable.
"I could feel instantly the atmosphere among the boys is very high and everybody's positive.
"That's a big thing in football. You could see we were on the front foot and attacking and we're ready to push on and climb the table.
"It was a comfortable win, I know we struggled to get set at the beginning of the game because Maidstone started well but it was a great debut for me.
"We didn't create much but neither did they to be fair. It was a tight game with a lot of back and forth and we had to dig deep and do a lot of running.
"But what happened was that we grafted harder and got the result.
"We had a bit of luck with the goal, it was a cross from myself, but sometimes you get that and we're due a bit of luck.
"I'm proud of the boys.
Manager Ian Allinson was also delighted with the way his new charge had settled into the side.
He said: "We knew Rohdell from Stevenage a few years ago and he's moved around a bit before ending up at Walton Casuals with Chris [Winton].
"We spoke about bringing in a winger a couple of weeks ago so we put in a seven-day approach and he came and trained with us on Thursday.
"He was really sharp and really bright and we thought about starting him.
"We went with what we know but he took his opportunity really well. He was a threat all afternoon and caused them some problems.
"Maidstone's threat is in the wide areas and we occupied them all day."