Ashington FC’s newest recruit, Dan O’Reilly, made quite an impact after coming on as a second half substitute during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Seaham Red Star.
Dublin-born O’Reilly, who signed on the dotted line from Durham City during the week, is now aiming to ‘kick on’ after receiving a warm welcome at Woodhorn Lane.
The 25-year-old said: “I had a discussion with the management team and I liked what they had to say. The club are friendly and they couldn’t have made me feel more welcome, now I’m hoping to kick on.”
Gateshead-based O’Reilly, who showed searing pace down the flanks, was heavily involved as with the scores locked at 1-1, he won the penalty award 13 minutes from the end of normal time which resulted in Ben Harmison scoring the winner.
“To be honest, I initially found it hard to adjust to the pace of the game, but after ten minutes I thought I held my own and played well,” he said.
“For the spot kick, I don’t think the kid was going to catch me, to be fair. I felt his hands on my back and as I was travelling fast, I couldn’t stay on my feet.
“As far as I was concerned, it was a penalty all day long.”
O’Reilly revealed he nominated himself to take the kick until there was a last minute change of plan.
“I would have liked to have got on the score sheet,” he said.
“I wanted to take the penalty but the keeper knocked the ball away so I let Ben [Harmison] take it instead.”
O’Reilly reflected on an incident when within minutes of his introduction, he was clean through.
“I didn’t think I had that much time and didn’t pick my head up,” he said.
“I had a shot and on reflection should have squared the ball across to Ben [Harmison] who would have had a tap in.
“However, I got us the penalty so it made up for it.”
Boss Steve Harmison said: “For the last five or six weeks we have missed Damien Stevens as the pace threat behind the big man [Ben Harmison], and in Dan O’Reilly, hopefully we have seen a little glimpse of what he can do.
“We didn’t want to start with him against Seaham Red Star as he only signed during the week, had trained once and it was a case of him looking on from the sidelines at how we played and understanding what we are trying to do.
“Even though he was flying in the second division, he is now with a first division outfit and we will monitor that.
“He came on earlier than planned because Lee McAndrew, who was going well, had to come off injured.
“Dan won the penalty award for us. He got in front of the defender and once that happens in the box the referee has to make a decision, and luckily for us it went our way.”