DAVID Cushley picked the perfect time to notch a personal milestone in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Linfield.
The Ballymena United winger had never previously scored at Windsor Park until his double strike helped United battle back from two goals down to claim a rare point at the national stadium.
“I was saying to Tony Kane in the car on the way to the game, it’s the only place that I hadn’t scored at so I was really pleased to get two,” said Cushley.
“I’ve scored at every other (senior) ground in my career but not Windsor.
“The first one came to me on the edge of the box and I took it down and curled it into the corner off the inside of the post.
Cushley’s second goal, with eight minutes left, came after he latched onto Robert Garrett’s wayward backpass and sprinted clear before cleverly dinking the ball past keeper Ross Glendinning.
“When you’re in that situation, with time to think about it, that’s when the pressure comes on but I thought I did alright – I just trickled it and it went across the goal-line.”
The double strike took Cushley to six goals for the season but he admits he’s disappointed with that return.
“I scored a good few goals for Distillery last year and I’ve been playing a wee bit higher (up the field) this year so I thought I might have got a few more goals but it’s just one of those things.
“I’ve just tried to get my head down, work hard and do the donkey work.
“The chances have been there, I just haven’t taken them, with the exception of Saturday, when I put away the two that I got.
“I thought Linfield got a bit lucky with their first goal – they got a wee bounce in their favour in the box after I had lost the ball to begin with, when I should have kept it.”
Unfortunately for Cushley, he won’t have the opportunity to follow up his double salvo as he misses tonight’s game against Donegal Celtic and Saturday’s Irish Cup clash with Coleraine as he serves a two-match ban for accumulating 10 bookings – an unusual scenario for a wide player and one which he accepts needs to change.
“Glenn texted me last Monday to let me know the bad news.
“Obviously I need to cut out a lot of bookings but making the tackles I do is part of my game – I like getting in and getting among opponents.
“I’m gutted to miss the cup game especially but hopefully if the boys perform the way they did in the second half at Linfield and take it to Coleraine, we’ll be in the quarter-final and I’ll be able to play,” added Cushley.