It has been a hugely frustrating 10 months for Joe Walsh since joining MK Dons, but his acrobatic winner against Reading has made up for it.
Having played no part in the 5-0 thumping by Burnley in midweek, Walsh replaced suspended Antony Kay at the heart of the defence, and found himself in the right place at the right time to rise up and volley home from close range, not only firing Dons into the lead but netting the winner in the process.
“I don’t get many like that! Most of them are with my head, but a goal is a goal - I’ll take it!” he said afterwards.
“It’s a massive three points and we’re all buzzing in the dressing room. Every point is going to be vital come the end of the season, but I’m delighted to come away with a clean sheet, the winner and all three points.
“I seem to get on the end of a few set pieces, I don’t know why - luck I suppose. I haven’t had a chance to see it back yet but the lads told me it was a good strike, so hopefully I’ll get to see it on TV tonight.
“We ground out the result, but it was important to stay positive and we did.”
The Welsh defender has been something of a forgotten man at stadium:mk. Having signed initially on loan from Crawley last March, Walsh barely saw first team action as Dons romped to automatic promotion from League 1.
And though tipped to be Karl Robinson’s number one choice alongside Kyle McFadzean when his move was made permanent in the summer, injury has seen the 23-year-old make just six appearances for Dons this season.
He said: “It has been hard. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had a lot of injuries, and then to get one at the very beginning of the season to rule me out for three months was hard getting through it. Scoring the winner and keeping a clean sheet makes up for it.
“I grew up without having any injuries, then I came here! I don’t know what it is! But hopefully, I’ll stay in the team now and keep playing football.”