Nathan Pond insisted Fleetwood Town were good value for their 4-0 victory over holders Crewe Alexandra in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The Highbury stalwart netted just after the break, his effort from just outside the box the third of Town’s goals as they dumped Steve Davies’ League One side out of the competition.
And, despite plenty of possession for the visitors, he believes the thumping was justified.
“I wouldn’t say it was necessarily closer than the scoreline suggested,” said Pond.
“Jon Parkin’s had a one-on-one saved and we’ve made a couple of other half-chances.
“Saying that, Scotty (Scott Davies) made two or three great saves later on in the game.
“From a biased point of view, you could say the result was overdue for us.”
It was a win which takes Fleetwood into the northern area quarter-finals for the first time – a feat made even more special by the fact they beat the last team to lift the trophy.
Pond said: “I was delighted to get the result. They are a League One side, so that made it more difficult
“They were the holders as well, so all in all it’s a great win for the team.”
And that strike, as well as being one to add to his extensive Highbury scrapbook, helped Pond, who is in his testimonial year at Fleetwood, get team-mates off his case.
“A few lads have been getting on my back about not scoring,” he explained.
“I could have laid it off to Junior (Brown) but I thought, ‘Why not go for goal?’ Fortunately for me, it went in.”
“The gaffer said in the changing room that it doesn’t count because it wasn’t a header from a set-piece, like they think I should be getting. My reply was that it should count double.”
The defender, in only his second season of League football, is still learning from every game and has enjoyed the opportunity to get to know how the game is played in the division above.
He said: “It was similar to the game against Tranmere. Teams from that level keep the ball a lot better and you’ve got to be patient.
“That’s the most important thing – keep your shape, and when you get the ball, use it wisely.” Town return to League Two action on Saturday, when Highbury hosts one of the biggest games of the season.
Leaders Chesterfield head to the Fylde coast. Fleetwood are just one point behind Paul Cook’s Spireites and victory will put them top of the pile for the first time in this campaign.
Pond is hoping the game will be a real spectacle
He said: “They’ve got some great players but it’s all about getting the three points. Hopefully it’s going to be a great game.”
But the 28-year-old isn’t getting carried away, with the season only a quarter of the way through.
“It would be great to go top on Saturday,” he said. “But what’s important is to be top at the end of the season, when it counts.
“We’re not going to get excited because we know it doesn’t mean anything.
“There’s a long way to go and we’ve got to make sure we stay the distance.”