JOY AND DE­SPAIR IN RAIN FOR TOM

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Luke Baker

LIT­TLE can match the thrill of scor­ing your first pro­fes­sional goal.

And when that goal is a thun­der­ous half-vol­ley into the top cor­ner – the joy is even more un­bri­dled.

But what if the game is aban­doned and it’s as if the goal never even hap­pened? That’s the re­al­ity Tom Owen-Evans, 19, had to face.

The New­port County mid­fielder – play­ing just his 22nd league game for the club against More­cambe last week­end – went from the ela­tion of giv­ing the Ex­iles a 1-0 lead to dis­be­lief when ref­eree Bren­dan Malone called it off at half-time be­cause of a waterlogged pitch.

He is still try­ing to wrap his head round it, but for once the rough hu­mour of the dress­ing room was kept to a min­i­mum.

“A few of them were ban­ter­ing me ini­tially be­cause they didn’t re­alise it was my first pro goal, but when it sunk in that I hadn’t scored be­fore, they felt a bit sorry for me,” he said.

“When the ref came in at half-time and said it was off, I was gut­ted. To score such a nice goal and then for the match to be called off was heart­break­ing.

The ‘goal that never was’ is the lat­est in­ci­dent in an event­ful sea­son for him.

The mid­fielder was loaned to Glouces­ter City in Septem­ber but a mud­dle over the pa­per­work meant he faced a race against time up and down the A48.

“Glouces­ter had Har­ro­gate away on the Satur­day and New­port con­firmed on the Fri­day I would be able to go on loan there,” ex­plained Owen-Evans.

“Glouces­ter were leav­ing at 3pm for an overnight stay, but I didn’t fin­ish train­ing un­til 1pm, then had to rush down to Rod­ney Pa­rade to sign the pa­per­work.

“I was on my way to Glouces­ter and got a call say­ing there was an­other form I had to fill in!

“I had to go back, fill in the right pa­pers and then race to get on the coach! I made it with a minute to spare, hadn’t even met any of the other play­ers but made my de­but next day.”

PAIN GAME: Tom Owen-Evans

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