Penalty hero James Henry admitted to changing his mind when he slotted home Oxford United’s equaliser in Good Friday’s 1-1 draw at home to Scunthorpe United.
After what happened the previous week against Portsmouth it took a brave man to step up and take a penalty in Oxford colours.
Undeterred, Henry stroked the ball into the net after Iron goalkeeper Matt Gilks, who initially guessed correctly, began his dive early enough for the former Millwall and Wolves man to switch sides.
The goal was enough to earn an unlikely point after the wasteful visitors failed to capitalise on their totally dominant first half.
Henry said: “It was either me or Wes [Thomas] who were going to take them [penalties against Scunthorpe] but Wes wasn’t on the pitch and I was more than happy to step up and luckily I scored.
“I actually changed my mind halfway through because I saw the keeper move so early.”
The 28-year-old added: “I’m just delighted we got something from the game because, to be totally honest, in the first half we were absolutely terrible.
“We got a good roasting at half time and sometimes that’s what you need, especially when you put in a performance like that.
“I don’t know what it was – nothing was working for us and it took some guts to come out and perform like that in the second half.
“It was a massive point.”
And it was certainly a case of a point gained rather than two points dropped, even with the improved second half showing.
Ivan Toney fired the Iron in front after 12 minutes with his fifth goal from eight starts.
Hakeeb Adelakun and Josh Morris both went close as the play-off hopefuls attempted to stretch their lead.
That was before Toney struck the post, and Rob Dickie and Henry, who looked to use his arm, blocked efforts on the goal line.
Substitute Jon Obika was adjudged to have been tripped by Scunthorpe’s Jordan Clarke and Henry netted the equaliser on 56 minutes.
Adelakun struck the bar for the visitors with a late curling shot but United held on for the first point of Karl Robinson’s reign.
Picture: Jon Obika is brought down for a penalty. Credit: Steve Daniels