There can’t be many better feelings than scoring a last-gasp winning goal to complete a stunning turnaround in a thrilling FA Cup tie – and that was evident in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s utter delight after Northampton’s spectacular 3-2 win over Northwich Victoria on Saturday.
In the space of four minutes Cobblers turned a two-goal deficit and a potentially embarrassing cup exit into a memorable fightback that booked their spot in this evening’s third round draw.
Goals from Sam Hoskins and Jason Taylor initially looked to have forced an unlikely replay, which was perhaps more than the Cobblers had deserved, but the home side then went one better with less than three minutes on the clock.
The returning Ricky Holmes, who had been influential in Town’s revival having come on as a second half substitute, was the provider as his pinpoint outside-of-the-boot cross was steered home by Calvert-Lewin to send the home fans into delirium.
Wild celebrations ensued and that continued after full-time with a gleeful Calvert-Lewin unable to wipe a beaming smile off his face throughout his post-match interview.
“There’s no better feeling,” grinned the 18-year-old. “It was just utter joy and you kind of just lose yourself for a few seconds in the celebrations because everyone was going crazy.
“I just went over to the fans and it was a nice celebration and a really nice feeling.”
Prior to Hoskins’ goal, a Cobblers comeback appeared unlikely and it was the Evo-Stik side who were on course for an almighty upset thanks to goals from Jimmy Ball and then Richard Bennett either side of half-time.
But a combination of fatigue and Chris Wilder’s substitutions played a key role in Northampton pulling off a thrilling comeback.
“It was a very tough game,” acknowledged Calvert-Lewin. “The conditions didn’t help and credit to Northwich who were very good but it was just great to get the win in the last 10 minutes.
“It was just utter joy and you kind of just lose yourself for a few seconds in the celebrations because everyone was going crazy.”Dominic Calvert-Lewin
“Fatigue possibly played a factor as the game wore on but I think we all just believed in ourselves until the very end and that showed.
“There’s definitely great spirit here. The first goal was scored in the 83rd minute so to go on and score another two shows the spirit we have within in the team and the momentum we’ve got at the moment.
“Once we got the first goal the fans got behind us and we had a feeling about us that we could go on and win it.
“I think Ricky and (Marc) Richards brought the experience we needed in the situation we were in.
“Rico’s obviously a very good player and he’s the captain, and it was the first time I’ve played with Ricky and he was very good when he came on and got the man of the match which was well deserved.”
The young striker, who now has eight Northampton goals since signing on-loan from Sheffield United, admitted there were times when he felt it might not be Town’s day as he paid credit to the excellent visitors.
He added: “As the game goes on and it remains 2-0 to them you start to wonder but you can’t let yourself get down and stop doing the things that you would usually do.
“You just have to keep going, keep making the runs and hope that you’ll get the first one and then it’s a dream scenario what’s happened for us.
“Northwich were very good and after getting the first goal they stuck at it and made it very hard for us given the conditions.
“You can’t explain what they must be feeling now to have it taken away from them like that but it’s just joy for us really.”
As for who he wants in the next round, Calvert-Lewin continued: “I’m a Sheffield United fan but I wouldn’t mind Arsenal in the next round and a trip to the Emirates.”