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Constable glad to make amends with goal
JAMES Constable was relieved not to let Oxford United down as he shrugged off two poor misses to play a key role in their 3-1 win at Torquay United, writes DAVID PRITCHARD.
The striker was recalled to the starting line-up and linked up well with Alfie Potter.
The pair combined to create three gilt-edged chances in the first half, two of which were spurned by Constable.
But the striker kept going and when a third opening arrived, he coolly rounded the keeper to score.
Constable admitted the misses were playing on his mind, so the goal came as a big relief.
He said: “I knew I should have done better. The first one especially I think if I had kept it low it would have been a goal and the second one I possibly had too much time and again didn’t pick a spot.
“At half-time I was thinking not to let the lads down, especially with the way we had performed it was massive that we came out as a team and kept going.
“The gaffer said we were going to get more chances if we just increased that intensity a bit. “I just saw the keeper starting to creep out, so I tried to knock it as far past him as I could without hitting it out of play.
“It was one of those points where if it hadn’t gone in it might have been a long afternoon – I was just delighted it went in.”
The 28-year-old’s persistence also saw him fouled for a penalty, which Damian Batt converted to double the lead.
When the U’s had been awarded a spot kick against Port Vale a week earlier there was some uncertainty over who should take it.
Sean Rigg saw his effort saved, but on this occasion there was no debate as Batt stepped forward to score his first goal of the season.
“It was always going to be me,” he said. “After the last penalty miss I said I wanted to be on them, so it was nice to step forward and score.
“I’m a confident person so once we won the penalty I knew straight away that I would like to take it.
“I connected well and it was nice to see it go in the back of the net.”
Torquay pulled a goal back but the visitors held off their attempts to equalise and Simon Heslop sealed the points in stoppage time.
Constable was pleased to claim a deserved victory, which provided a strong response after last Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat to Rotherham.
He said: “We were desperate for the three points.
“The lads were hurting are Tuesday and we went a little way to putting it right.”