Ched Evans thanked the Fleetwood Town fans for their reception after the striker marked his second debut for the club with a goal in their 2-0 win against Accrington Stanley.
After an 18-goal loan spell last season, the 30-year-old rejoined the club permanently from Sheffield United earlier this month.
Having bided his time and built up his fitness, Evans came off the bench at Highbury and slotted home a 71st minute penalty after Paddy Madden’s first-half opener.
When asked about the standing ovation he received on entering the pitch, Evans admitted: “I really enjoyed that.
“It was a lovely day and the fans were loud.
“I think they would have enjoyed it a bit more than sitting in the rain; it was a nice homecoming.
“I’m thankful for any support I get within football.
“I’m glad we paid them back with a result today.”
Evans was handed his big chance when Seamus Coneely and Zaine Francis-Angol slid in on Josh Morris inside the area.
Evans took on the penalty duty, slotting home despite Accrington’s protestations.
He said: “I like penalties, it is a free shot at goal.
“With the way the game was going I just wanted to put the ball in the net and get it up to 2-0 and kill the game off.
“With the new rule about the goalie not being able to go off the line it makes it easier to just put it in the corner and it is harder for them to get to.
“In general there was a lot of time before the penalty because there was a lot of arguing about the penalty but I was just focused – that is what I’m paid for.”
Evans was caught up in another big moment when Sean McConville was sent off for raising his hand to him.
The Accrington man brushed Evans’ face right in front of the referee but Accrington boss John Coleman brought a picture to his post-match press conference that appeared to show Evans also touching McConville’s face.
“A bit of handbags really,” was how Evans described the incident.
“A flailing arm, a bit of self-control, it wouldn’t have happened.
“The ref had no alternative other than to send him off.”