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Striker marks return with late equaliser

16 October 2019

After eight months on the sidelines, striker Jordan Graham said it was ‘great to be back out there’ following his late equaliser in yesterday’s Central League match against Walsall.

The amber and blue were trailing for the entirety of the second-half before substitute Graham found the net in the 87th minute after winger CJ Hamilton’s pinpoint cross.

Completing his first 30 minutes of game time since February due to a knee injury, the forward said it was good to be back on the pitch with his team-mates.

“It’s good [to be back]. It’s been a long time, eight months now,” he began. “It was only 30 minutes but it was just great to be back out there.

“It felt good with my running, I was a bit tired but it was good to get back out there.

“There have been a lot of up and downs [with my recovery]. I was due to come back in pre-season but I had a setback with some swelling.

“It’s been going on and off – sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. But you just have to keep working hard to get back and that’s what I’ve done so far.

“I was very tired early doors in the game but it felt good to be back out there being a part of the team – it was a good result as well.

“I want to get fit and play as many reserve games as I can. I want to get up to 90 minutes and we’ll go from there.”

Speaking of his late equaliser, he added: “I could see that CJ [Hamilton] was going to beat his man. Running down the line I know he is going to outpace anyone he comes up against.

“I just made sure I was in the box, tried to pull off and then the ball fell to me.”

Academy manager Richard Cooper expressed his delight at Graham marking his return to action with a goal.

“I’m pleased for Jordan Graham because that was his first game in a number of months,” he said. “I thought he played well for the 30 minutes he was on the pitch.

“He was in the right place at the right time [for his goal]. He’ll link play and he can score goals from anywhere.

“It was a great ball by CJ [Hamilton] and Jordan’s there to tap it in.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Jordan Graham’s and Richard Cooper’s interviews in full by logging into later today.

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