FA Trophy match was biggest game of my life, says Gainsborough Trinity's Terry Hawkridge
Terry Hawkridge chose the biggest game of his life to show how far he has come since his move to Gainsborough Trinity last summer.
The 22-year-old lit up an otherwise bitterly cold February evening with a dazzling first-half display of skill as Trinity overcame Barrow in the FA Trophy quarter-final.
While Trinity captain Michael Leary and defender Luke Waterfall scored the goals in the 2-0 victory, both came as a result of pin-point free-kicks from Hawkridge, writes Dave Marshall.
"This was the biggest game of my life without a doubt," said Hawkridge.
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"I am used to playing for Trinity in the league now, but then a big game like this comes along and it does make me a bit nervous.
"But then I get one touch of the ball and I feel this is where I should be, playing in big games like this."
The former Carlton winger insists Wrexham will be a tough obstacle, but says everything is coming together at the right time for Trinity to reach the FA Trophy final at Wembley.
"The belief is there within the squad now," he said.
"We have beaten three teams now from the league above us and every time we do it gives us a boost in confidence.
"We will be underdogs, but I would imagine that Wrexham are wary of Gainsborough Trinity now. They will have seen that we have beaten three Blue Square Premier League sides and it is bound to make them sit up and take notice."
Much of the talk in the stands on Tuesday evening was focused on Hawkridge and his first-half performance.
It was a display that did not go un-noticed by his manager.
"Terry is shining," said Steve Housham.
"He was unmarkable in the first half, unplayable.
"But I don't like to single players out, because the whole group put their bodies on the line and their heads where it hurts.
"We had big hearts and big lungs and they got their rewards."
Droylsden (a), Saturday, Feb 9