Zac Ashworth was delighted to end a ‘roller coaster’ week on a high as his goal maintained Wanderers’ momentum in the promotion race.
Ashworth’s thumping far-post header earned the Whites a 1-1 draw against top-six rivals Barnsley.
It gave the on-loan defender a second goal in two league games wrapped around his miss from the decisive penalty in Wanderers’ shoot-out exit from the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.
And Ashworth hopes the upward trajectory will continue as Ian Evatt’ men prepare for a week on the road with back-to-back away games.
“It was a bit of a roller coaster week, to be fair,” said the 21-year-old after a third start in the Wanderers’ last four league games.
“The highs of last Saturday and then Tuesday, when ultimately it's my fault we didn't go through which is disappointing, but everyone - the lads, the gaffer - picked me up.
“I thought we played today (Saturday). I should have been on the back stick a few times in the first half. The gaffer let me know at half-time and so I made sure I was there in the second half. It was a great ball by Azza (Collins) and thankfully it got us a point in the end.
“It's not been easy in the last however many months it’s been. I've suffered a couple of injuries for the first time, a new club, moving up on my own, living on my own, it's not been easy.
“But the last month or so I have finally got a run of games and got my body feeling in a better place. I’ve been working hard away from the stadium and the games and thankfully I've started to pick up and play consistently and hopefully it carries on.”
Ashworth’s goal – powered in from a pin-point cross by deadline-day signing Aaron Collins – means Wanderers have lost just one of their last eight league games.
The Whites slipped a place to third in the table but have the chance to regain an automatic promotion slot and get back within two points of the summit if they can win at Cambridge United on Tuesday night ahead of a trip to Northampton Town at the weekend.
“Maybe bar the first 15 minutes of the second half I thought we were the better team. That's the way it felt anyway,” added Ashworth, who was joined in Wanderers’ starting line-up by good friend and fellow West Bromwich Albion loanee Caleb Taylor.
“It would have been really disappointing to finish with nothing. We wanted three, but a point at the end of the day is not the end of the world and we get ready for another couple of games this week with two away games.
“No away game is easy in this league. Every game is a battle, but I'm sure the fans will turn up and back us like they always do. They've been magnificent at home and definitely away as well, so we will need them and hopefully we can pick up a couple of wins.”
Main image: Jake Horrocks
Watch Zac's full interview on Wanderers TV HERE