Sam Taylor ‘nearly started crying’ after milestone Tranmere goal

·2-min read
Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Sam Taylor was left speechless after his first senior goal earned Tranmere a 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

The 19-year-old striker came on for the injured Harvey Saunders five minutes before half-time and, on his third appearance for the club, swept home the equaliser in the 79th minute.

Ali Al-Hamadi had made the breakthrough for the home side midway through the second half.

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But the story of the match belonged to Taylor, who confidently converted Josh Hawkes’ pull back into the top corner.

“I’m absolutely buzzing,” said Taylor. “I’ve never experienced anything like that. The feeling was incredible. I’m lost for words really.

“I nearly started crying to be honest. That will always be remembered. The lads have got me the match ball signed and that will always be there.

“All I was really aiming for this season was to get minutes. I honestly didn’t expect to come on the minute I did. I’m so delighted.”

Taylor’s interim manager Ian Dawes heaped praise on the teenager.

“What a fantastic story for him,” said Dawes. “He’s worked so hard to get where he is.

“Every time he’s come on the pitch, he’s never let us down. One of the biggest bits of credit I can give him is that he never lets you down off the ball.

“His energy and his workrate and his desire to do the ugly side of the game, competing and tracking back, for a striker is fantastic.

“I thought because of all that he deserved his goal, and what a goal it was.”

For Wimbledon, the draw meant they have dropped 40 points from winning positions this season, but under-pressure manager Johnnie Jackson felt hard done by given his side’s performance.

“It was quite a close game, but I thought we deserved to win it. We had the better chances,” said Jackson.

“We scored a really good goal and could have had a couple more. It wasn’t a wholly one-sided game but I thought we were the team in the ascendancy.”

Jackson came under fire last week after the Dons were beaten 5-1 by Swindon, but the former Charlton captain insisted he is aiming high next season.

“I’ve had fantastic support upstairs in difficult moments,” said Jackson. “I recognise that, but I think they recognise enough in me.

“Apart from last week, when we got a thrashing, we’ve been competitive in every game, even in defeat.

“I’m not just here to make the numbers up. We want to be competing at the top end of the league and we have to learn the lessons of this one.”