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Macca overjoyed with match-winning goal

20 April 2024

Club News

Macca overjoyed with match-winning goal

20 April 2024

Stephen McLaughlin expressed his immense joy to have been a part of Mansfield’s promotion-winning season after netting an incredible winner in this afternoon’s triumphant 2-1 home victory over Gillingham.

The Irishman arrowed a wonder strike into the top right corner in the 80th minute at One Call Stadium to end Mansfield’s home league campaign with a win.

Speaking to iFollow Stags after the match, McLaughlin said: “I just took a touch, kept the head down and kept it on target. I’ve been looking for that since I came back from injury.

“To hit the crossbar and [go] straight in, I couldn’t believe it. When I took the touch, I had Quinny [Stephen Quinn] to the side of me and I thought ‘if I don’t hit the target I’m getting an earful’. I couldn’t ask for anything better, just to hit it cleanly, keep it on target and keep it down.

“To see it go in like that was such a relief especially after the season I’ve had personally. I’ve been in England now 11 or 12 years and I’ve scored every year. [So], I needed to score. I thought I was running out of games but thankfully I got it today.

“I can’t remember any other ones [I’ve scored] that were better than that. I haven’t seen it back yet but at the time it felt unbelievable.”  

In helping deliver a final home victory of the season for Mansfield’s unwavering supporters, he said: “We had to [end the home season on a winning note].

“We had to do it for the fans really. Especially [after their efforts] over the last three seasons I’ve been here. We got beat here against Crawley 4-1 and they clapped us off the pitch.

“It doesn’t go unnoticed to the players. We said to each other ‘we have to send them home happy’. I thought you saw that in the second -half, we could’ve scored another couple.” 

The 33-year-old shed some light on his mindset when joining the club in September 2020 and his aspirations for the future. McLaughlin said: “The club I was at before [Mansfield], it was horrendous really. Then we had the covid and I went home. I was home for about eight weeks and I didn’t want to go back. Then I got the shout to come here and I thought ‘give it another try’.

“This gaffer’s come in and just the way he handles business, the way he treats you, the way he speaks to you, the information he gives to you [is brilliant]. The love for the game [I had] was incredible when I came in. I was happy from the day I walked in here and I really hope that can continue.

“I do [want to be here next season]. I really do. This club is moving forward in a great direction. I really want to be a part of it.”

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