Match-winner Oli Hawkins says Elliott Hewitt’s magnificent goalline clearance in the dying embers of today’s contest was ‘as important as my goal’ as Stags left it late to beat Crewe 2-1 this afternoon.
In a heart-stopping last 20 minutes, Crewe were pegged back after substitute Will Swan levelled and then Hawkins was in the right place to head home from Kieran Wallace cross to spark wild scenes in the away end and secure maximum points.
With eight minutes of stoppage time added on, Crewe threw the kitchen sink at Stags and almost equalised but for a sensational goalline clearance from Hewitt to deny Crewe’s Rod McDonald of a certain equaliser.
“To be honest, I think it was the biggest part of the game, to do what he did,” said Hawkins, speaking to iFollow Stags.
“His clearance was as important as my header. It was unbelievable.
“I thought the guy [Rod McDonald] had a really good header, flicked back, it was going in. Elliott came from nowhere; I didn’t see him come in but he bicycle-kicked it away and today got us the three points.”
Hawkins also singled out the impact the substitutes had on the game.
“Lawsy [Jason Law] was brilliant and Swany [Will Swan] was a threat straight away.
“It was a great pass, great touch and great finish.
“That’s what you need from your subs and your squad players. It’s a squad game and I thought they, along with Kieran Wallace today were brilliant.”
Describing his feelings when he headed home the winner, the former Ipswich man said:
“It was utter relief and exhaustion. The last five minutes I was going back and forth for long throw-ins and set-pieces.
“There’s nothing better than stoppage time winners and what a feeling, with the away end today. To be one nil down and [then go on to] score the winner is unbelievable.
“I was glad I could get my head on it and good enough power against a really big goalie and see it go in.
“It was an unbelievable cross. I sort of knew it would be a really good cross. I put my body I in a position where I could be away from a defender and be able to have the chance of having a clear enough header and it worked perfectly.”