Mansfield Town goal scorer Rhys Oates admits his wonder strike in the team’s 2-1 home victory over Colchester United this evening was one of his best ever goals.
The striker received the ball from inside his own half on 19 minutes before dribbling 40-yards and beating Colchester ‘keeper Sam Hornby from outside the box.
The number 18 says that he knew his audacious strike had gone in before it had hit the back of the net.
“As soon as I hit it, it’s one of those where you know it’s going in and the 'keeper has got no chance,” he said.
“[I’m] not sure if I have [scored a better goal]. I think that’s definitely up there with one of my best.
“It was a great header out by Macca [Stephen McLaughlin]. I ran on to it, got my head down and kept going. One of them [a Colchester player] tried to hack me down but he didn’t quite get me. [Then] it bobbled up nicely, so I thought I’m just going to hit it and thankfully it went into the top corner.”
This evening's dramatic victory saw January signings Lucas Akins and Jamie Murphy make their first starts for the club. Oates believes Mansfield now have impressive squad depth.
“We’ve got a lot of squad strength now,” Oates told iFollow Stags. “Murph [Murphy] and Lucas [Akins] both started today, and they both played amazingly.
“I think we’ve shown in the last 16 games that we’re playing as a team. Everyone knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we know how to play as a team.
“We just have to keep pushing game by game and try to win every game.”
Mansfield have now achieved victory in all of their last nine home matches in Sky Bet League Two. Oates says that the raucous atmosphere inside One Call Stadium has played an important part.
On what Stags’ impressive home form, he said:
“I think the draw against Port Vale on the Tuesday night [19 October 2021] we maybe should have won, and it gave us confidence.
“The fans have been amazing here. They spur us on until the last minute, they’re like a twelfth man. Full credit to them. It has been an amazing run.
“It’s a great feeling having a few thousand people sing your name. It always gives me confidence and shows that they all believe in me. It gives [me] a good push.
“We’re just trying to take it game by game and keep winning. Hopefully teams are dropping points around us, and we can keep pushing up the table.
“We’re confident that we can win home or away. We’ll go to Bristol at the weekend and just keep playing the same way as we have been.”