NATHAN CLARKE reflected on his impressive FA Cup winner at Port Vale and quipped: “It was straight off the training ground!”
The Town stalwart who is 26 today struck 12 minutes into the second-round tie in Burslem with a sweet overhead kick.
It was enough to put Town into the third round, and the centre-back added: “It feels great just to be involved.”
Of his third goal of the campaign and 10th for the club, Clarke explained: “Peter Clarke won the initial ball and Lee Novak flicked it back.
“It was there to be hit really, and while I ended up on the floor, I looked round and saw the ball in the back of the net.
“It was one of those that either goes in or ends up at the back of the stand, and thankfully, it went in!”
Clarke continued: “We were strong in the first half and should really have been out of sight by the break.
“We had a couple of other good chances and we pinned them back well.
“We were under more pressure in the second half, but with them opting to put it up in the air and challenge for the second balls, I thought we dealt with the threat well.
“Alex Smithies helped us out by coming out confidently to take crosses, and after our disappointing (2-1) defeat at Swindon, it was great to come away and keep a clean sheet.”