Deveronvale striker Dane Ballard says his long wait for a competitive goal was worth it after hitting the net for the first time in almost three years.
Ballard scored the Banffers’ first in their 2-0 win over Nairn County at the weekend.
Prior to that his last competitive goal had been on August 11 2018 – some 1085 days ago.
The reason for that was an injury sustained in September 2018 with Ballard rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament and tearing his meniscus.
That kept the hitman out for almost 18 months, and when he did return the coronavirus pandemic hit, which led to long spells of inactivity for Highland League clubs.
Reflecting on his goal, Ballard said: “It was maybe a slightly slack backpass and Robert Scott closed down and nicked the ball.
“I almost got ahead of it and left the ball behind, but I managed to backtrack a wee bit and take the ball with me.
“The goalkeeper gave me a bit of room to hit and I managed to stick it away thankfully.
“It’s brilliant to get that goal. I’ve scored in some friendlies and things like that, but nothing comes close to scoring a competitive goal.
“Hopefully it’s the first of many this season.
“It was the moment I’ve been waiting for since I got back fit and it makes it all worth it.
“But hopefully there’s a plenty more to come as well.”
Vale set standards
Ballard also felt Deveronvale’s team performance was impressive against Nairn as they picked up their first Breedon Highland League win of the season.
He added: “Against Nairn we were at them from the off and were hungry.
“We pressed well, kept the ball and defended really well so we’ve set the bar now and if we can play like that every week we’ll win more than we lose.”