Danny Lloyd has taken the first steps to proving his critics wrong.
Peterborough United’s attacking midfielder scored the first Football League goal of his career in his full Football League debut as Posh fought out a 2-2 League One draw with AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow yesterday (November 12).
The 25 year-old made a big leap in standard in the summer after 29 goals for Stockport County in the National North Division led to a place with a League One club eyeing up promotion to the Championship.
It’s taken a while for Lloyd to make an impact, but the man-of-the-match prize from Sky TV, who broadcast the Wimbledon game live, now sits proudly on his mantelpiece.
“I’ve had to be patient and wait for my chance,” Lloyd admitted after the game. “But I can tick one of my dreams off after starting a Football League match and I can tick another one off after scoring my first goal.
“I came here to play games and to prove people wrong. There are people in non-league football who reckoned I wouldn’t make it in the Football League so I want to show I can.
“Obviously there are things for me to work on. I played further forward at Wimbledon than I’m used to and I was solid and worked hard. I wasn’t as good as I can be quality-wise, but I battled away.
“I got my reward for working hard in training and playing well in the reserve team games. I felt I did okay at Cambridge last week in the first team as well, but I can do better.
“I’m happy to play anywhere, but any forward position that involves me running at defenders and being creative suits me. I’d love to start banging the goals in for the club.
“I’ll take yesterday’s goal. Obviously I’m not the biggest, but Marcus Maddison’s set piece delivery is usually very good so I gambled at the near post and it definitely went into the net off my head. I was pleased Sky gave me the goal, but it took an age for the ball to go in off the far post. The manager just told me to compete as best I can in the opposition penalty area and it came off
“My celebration was mad again. I have got a goal celebration, but I got caught up in the moment and didn’t use it. I’m sure I’ll get it out next time.
“We were disappointed we didn’t win the game at Wimbledon though. We created some decent chances in the second half and we were resolute defensively apart from a couple of slit second lapses in concentration.
“We battled and grafted and I am sure the consistency required to win games will be along soon. We’re not far off the play-offs.”
Lloyd can expect to keep his place for Wednesday’s (November 15) FA Cup first round replay at Tranmere, another amtch to be televised live, this time by BT Sport.
“Prenton Park is not a nice place to go,” Lloyd added. “I played there a couple of times when I was younger and their fans get right behind the team.
“The ground is about three miles from my home so I might pop into mum’s for a cup of tea.”