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First Team News

Rafferty: “I Was Delighted To Score”

21 September 2021

First Team News

Rafferty: “I Was Delighted To Score”

21 September 2021

Joe Rafferty was delighted to get on the scoresheet in the Lilywhites’ Carabao Cup victory against Cheltenham Town and joked that no-one could take the strike away from him.

The No.15 scored North End’s second on the night, hammering in a delightful Greg Cunningham cross with the help of a slight deflection.

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 4 Cheltenham Town 1

21 September 2021

Speaking to iFollow PNE post-match, Raff said: “I think it was going in the bottom corner, so it might have been off the shin pad or something but you’ve got to take them.

“Greg was putting some unbelievable balls in the box, I just felt that if I kept getting into the right position, one was going to come.

“The first one I went short, the next one I went long, and the next one I thought, ‘I’m going to go here’. It just landed on my foot luckily and it went in bottom corner.

“We work hard on that, that’s what we do. When we come to do some shape and stuff like that, we work hard on getting numbers in the box and wing back to wing back, especially when Greg’s putting in balls like that, you can’t not get in the box.”

The defender was making his second start of the campaign, having last played in the second round tie away to Morecambe.

He admitted that being absent from league action has been frustrating and that was perhaps evident in his goal celebration.

“It was unbelievable,” Raff said of the opportunity to return to the starting line-up.

“I’ve been really frustrated in the past few weeks, all the lads know how I feel and it is hard. You train all week and you haven’t got anything on a Saturday, it’s not a nice feeling in all honesty. When the game came today, I made sure I was ready.

“I had this game in mind, it’s been a few weeks now since the last one. I just thought I had to go out there and put on a good performance and see where it takes me.

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“I know I’ve volleyed the ball somewhere into that stand. It’s a little bit of everything, a bit of anger, frustration. It’s been tough, I’m not going to lie, it has been tough. Overall, I was just delighted to score. I was made up.”

On the game itself, the 27-year-old continued: “It was a good game, we knew it was going to be tough.

“They’re doing well in the league and obviously got promoted last season, they’re a really good team. No-one took it lightly, we’ve got players there who are proving points to be in the team. We had everyone on it and I thought we did really well.

“In the majority of the games, you’ve got to go through a spell where the opposition are on top, it’s just about weathering that storm and we didn’t do it, they got the goal and came back into the game, we can say we let them in but they did well to get back in the game.

“We had to weather the storm and keep ahead in the game and then once Seani scored it was game over really.”

PNE now head into the last 16 of the competition and will learn their opponents for the next round after the conclusion of the third round ties tomorrow evening.

While Rafferty does have a personal preference for who he would like to face in the next round, he said the main focus will be for the team to do all they can to progress again.

“We’re all buzzing in there. It’s always a tough one, you never know who you want. Personally I want to play at Anfield but sometimes you want a team lower than you or in the same [division] to give yourseves a chance of progressing.

“I think the majority of us want to go and get someone who are winnable. We haven’t really got that choice, we don’t get to choose that so whoever we get we’ll do our best and try to go through again.”

Watch more from Raff on iFollow PNE.

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