Scott Fenwick believes that his penalty that took York City to Wembley ranks alongside a historic goal for Hartlepool United as the best moment of his career.
Fenwick, who spent just under two years with the Victoria Park club, scored in their final home game of the 2014/15 season as a 2-1 win over Exeter City kept Pools in the Football League.
All had seemed lost for Ronnie Moore’s side as they were sat bottom of the League Two table from late October until March.
However a four-match winning run set them up for the most unlikely of survival acts and one that has gone down in club folklore as “The Great Escape”.
Fenwick left Hartlepool United in the summer and after speaking to a number of clubs he decided to join York City.
Their season so far has been a struggle, with the club embroiled in a relegation battle in the Vanarama National League.
Things have improved since manager Gary Mills returned to the club and made a number of changes to his squad. They are now in a strong position to escape a relegation that seemed a certainty just months ago and, thanks to Fenwick’s penalty, can now look forward to a trip to Wembley in the Buildbase FA Trophy Final.
The spot kick gave them a 3-2 aggregate win over National League leaders Lincoln City and set up a Trophy Final against National League rivals Macclesfield Town.
Their match-winner was just pleased to “create some great memories for everyone involved with the club”.
Fenwick said “I’ve scored some big goals in my career but this one has to be up there with the goal against Exeter City when I was at Hartlepool United.
“That helped us to a 2-1 win and meant that we had stayed in the Football League and produced the great escape.
“I got a similar feeling, when you see the celebrations.
“You see what it means and I am just pleased to have helped create some great memories for everyone involved at the club”.
The fact that Fenwick took the spot kick was down to his own confidence more than team planning.
Although the twenty six year old was designated penalty taker under former Minstermen boss Jackie McNamara, there was nobody down to take the kick on Saturday.
That was a choice made by manager Gary Mills, with Fenwick stating that man that led the club to their 2012 FA Trophy Final triumph prefers to allow whoever is confident to take a spot kick, should one be awarded.
“We don’t really have a set penalty taker.
“Under Jackie McNamara I was down as the taker, and I scored a couple in pre-season.
“But Gary Mills is different, he just prefers whoever is confident at the time to take it.
“Parks (Jon Parkin) took one a few weeks back and missed and I felt fresh having just come on.
“I felt confident and had taken a few in training when we had practised them. I wasn’t missing in training so thought I would step up.
“I was buzzing to see it go in and to see the fans celebrating with us”.
The Minstermen currently sit seven points from safety in the National League table, although do at least hold a game in hand on twentieth placed Torquay United.
Their form has improved, with only one defeat in their last eight games.
They have drawn over half of those fixtures, although they are picking up points on a regular basis.
Thoughts are being allowed to turn towards Wembley, with Fenwick revealing that manager Gary Mills wants them to use their upcoming trip to the National Stadium as an inspiration as they look to escape relegation.
“The gaffer spoke about it this morning and said that we should not stop talking about Wembley” said the former Dunston UTS striker.
“He wants us to be excited, he wants us to talk about it and he wants us to use it as an indication of what we can and have acheive as a team.
“It is a motivating factor for us and hopefully we can use it for the rest of the season”
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: Ian Parker (@ice_photos)