Jorge Grant was thrilled to be back among the goals after he took his tally to 10 for the season as Notts County downed 10-man Newport at Meadow Lane.
After Dan Butler was sent off in the 33rd minute for leading with the arm on Matt Tootle, Grant made them pay immediately with a fine finish from Jon Stead’s pass.
The on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder then turned provider when he crossed low for Shola Ameobi who thundered a finish past goalkeeper Joe Day.
It could have been an even better day for the talented midfielder who also rattled the bar with an imperious free-kick as Notts secured a win which took them back to the top of the league table.
After enduring a lean spell in front of goal, Grant said he was delighted to be back on the scoresheet as the 23-year-old reinforced his reputation as one of the brightest talents in League Two.
“I’m really happy,” he said.
“It’s been five games without a goal so it was good to get three points and a clean sheet.
“We came in with an attitude of ‘we’re not going to lose this game’ and maybe in the last few weeks we have let teams come on to us – but it was the opposite and it was proved in the final score.
“We were confident.
“We’ve been working on being calm and composed around the box in training and picking out the final pass. We could have had a lot more than three goals.
“It was a bit disappointing not to see the free-kick go in as that would have been a hat-trick and the first one of my career, but the win was all that mattered.”
Notts boss Kevin Nolan has spoken recently how he was confident Grant would find his shooting boots again, having enjoyed such a fabulous start to the season.
And Grant said he had also spoken to his father about his barren spell and admitted he was indebted to them both for giving him some extremely valuable advice.
“Obviously my goals record gets looked at more now because I score more often than what I used to,” he said.
“I think people sometimes forget that I am a midfield player, but I am scoring goals and that is nice for me.
“Not just me personally, but I think the team has just gone away from what we were doing earlier on in the season.
“But the day after every game I watch it back and go through it with my dad, seeing what I could have done better or differently.
“I criticise myself quite a lot.
“I have high expectations of myself so that’s why I beat myself up about certain things, but the manager has given me little pointers and told me to go out there, express myself and enjoy myself because I am a better player when I do that.”