Striker Jamille Matt knew there was only one man to join the celebrations after bagging his first goal in nearly 18 months for Fleetwood Town.
Matt’s 87th-minute strike in Town’s 4-0 thrashing of Colchester United on Saturday was the Jamaican’s first since coming back from a serious knee injury that ruled him out for the whole of last season.
And Fleetwood physio Luke Bussey was drawn into Matt’s big moment after he turned home Amari’i Bell’s cross to notch his first in League One.
“Luke has taken a lot of my frustrations in the last 12 months,” said Matt.
“He’s always looked after me, always got me back in a good mood. I felt like I had to celebrate with him.
“I told him to get ready as soon as I scored – I had to go over.”
The 24-year-old cut a forlorn figure around Fleetwood last season.
He went down in the final minute of Town’s final pre-season game – serious ligament damage in his knee forcing him into a year-long programme of operations and rehabilitation.
It’s a journey Matt is desperate to put behind him but one which has left him with a different outlook on the game and a message for his team-mates.
He said: “I think the lads think I’m a broken record but I go on at them all the time, telling them there’s nothing worse than being injured for 12 months.
“I just get on with it and try to look forward. There’s no point moaning – this is something we dream of when we are kids–
“You should never lose sight of how hard it is to keep fit and keep playing. You have to enjoy it while you can.”
And having found the net against the U’s, Matt is now hoping to prove his value at Highbury and put his injury woes firmly in the past.
He faces stiff competition, with Fleetwood’s strikeforce suddenly on top form.
Jamie Proctor has bagged two in two and David Ball got off the mark on Saturday.
Matt’s late strike ensured that all four Fleetwood forwards, including Declan McManus, have found the net this term.
Matt admits it’s been a long journey to reach this point.
He said: “I’ve been in the gym on my own for a long time, working to get back, but that’s all behind me.
“I just want to put it in the back of my mind, look to the future and hopefully get more goals.”
Gavin Massey went closest for the visitors, who narrowly avoided relegation last season and look set for another struggle.
His second-minute effort effort was pushed over the bar by Chris Maxwell before Fleetwood took complete control.
A thundering 25-yard effort from Jimmy Ryan – his first goal in Fleetwood colours – set Graham Alexander’s men on their way, Ball doubling the tally before the break with a deflected effort looped over Elliot Parish.
Bell then teed up Jamie Proctor before Matt’s fourth secured a second four-goal haul in five days – a feat not achieved by the Highbury club since their Conference promotion campaign.
Assistant manager Chris Lucketti summed up the confidence of the changing room.
He said: “We’re delighted. We worked hard and got a just reward.
“It was nip and tuck early on. It took a bit of quality from Jimmy Ryan, and the lad’s got a lot of quality, to get the game going but from there we pressed on.
“It’s a bit of luck for the second but I don’t think we’ve had any of them for 12 months.
“It’s great to have all the strikers scoring. We’ve got Declan McManus too, who is off the mark and will get goals.
“If we can get the strikers scoring regularly and playing like we this, we’re going to be in for a good season.”
And he admitted it’s been an astonishing turnaround, after Fleetwood were criticised for not taking their chances a week earlier at Oldham.
“A week is a long time in football,” said Lucketti. “Eight goals later everybody is over the moon.
“We know we’ve played well, even in the games we’ve lost.
“We have been creating chances.
“The difference is that in the last two games we’ve taken those chances.”