Comeback goal for Dennis caps ‘beautiful’ day for the Dons striker
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The 21-year-old had not kicked a ball for the club since late January prior to his loan move to Sutton United at the end of last season. Suffering injury at the start of pre-season, head coach Graham Alexander said Dennis needed to up his fitness to be in with a chance of featuring.
Coming on with 27 minutes (plus the all-important 11 minutes of stoppage time) to go though, Dennis would have the final say in a dramatic game, which saw Dons come from 2-1 down to 3-2 winners in the final quarter of an hour.
“I'm very delighted, and excited for my goal,” he said afterwards. “I've been out for a few weeks, but what a way to get back in. And three points as well is really important.
“Thanks to the fans, and to the team for pushing all the way. I'm really excited. I couldn't believe it myself. It was beautiful.”
His appearance could have come earlier in the day, with Alexander tempted to throw the former Norwich City man in at the interval. But with limited training under his belt since returning from injury, he opted to keep his powder dry until the 63rd minute.
And his winner, deep into stoppage time saw him snatch the headlines and praise from his boss.
“He took his goal really well,” said Alexander. “He's only been out because he has been injured. We pushed him just as much as we pushed anyone in the squad.
“We saw his quality and the attributes he has which we feel will help us be successful. But he broke down in training, has been out and has only trained with us since Monday, and only in bit-parts because of our game in the week.
“I was thinking about putting him on at half-time, but because of his lack of training, I thought we had to save him until a bit later because you never know how long the games will go on for now.
“But his physical presence allowed us to get up the pitch a bit more.”