Scoring his first goal as a league player was a bittersweet moment for Blackpool’s Michael Nottingham, the defender has admitted.
Nottingham had already scored twice this season prior to the Boxing Day defeat at Rochdale, but both had come in the Carabao Cup.
But the 29-year-old, who up until this summer had spent his entire career in non-league, bagged his first goal in League One with a clinical finish to get Blackpool back on level terms.
Unfortunately it proved in vain as Rochdale grabbed a sickening 89th-minute winner to down the 10 men of Pool.
“It was massive for me,” Nottingham admitted.
“I wasn’t thinking about it being my first league goal but it was just an important goal to try and get us back in the game. I’m very happy with it though, definitely.
“From what I remember Armand (Gnanduillet) did a lot of the work down the right-hand side, he got to the byline and I just continued my run.
“I called for it, he heard the shout and I just tried to keep it down and thankfully it got a bit of luck and went in.
“Armand’s a very good player, he’s an absolute beast when he wants to be. He’s unplayable at times. He had a shift to do when we went down to 10 and he did it very well.”
Nottingham has been in and out of the Blackpool team in recent weeks but the defender has still managed to rack up 27 appearances so far this term, something the former Salford City man is delighted with.
“I’m very happy with it,” he added.
“I just keep my head down and try and do the right things and work hard. I got the nod against Rochdale and I tried to give everything.
“I’m happy with my performance but I’m obviously disappointed with the result.
“I thought we played well as a team but we just move on now and see what happens with the next one.
“The first half of the season has been very enjoyable for me. It’s tough, a lot of hard work which I was expecting, but that’s something I’m used to and something that I’m all about.
“There’s a lot more football involved with longer hours and obviously the quality of players on the training ground and those I play against is different. It’s a lot better than non-league.
“We’ve got to move on to AFC Wimbledon, who are scrapping down at the bottom so that makes it even harder. This time of year it’s always a hard game. Sometimes they can be the harder games, when they’re fighting for their lives.”