Ricky Holmes was delighted with his 30-yard wonder-goal for Barnet in their 2-2 draw with Southend on Saturday, but there was another reason why the goal had some added spice for the winger.
Holmes, born in Southend, grew up supporting the Shrimpers and played for their youth team before they released him when he was 16 years old.
Picked up by non-league Chelmsford, it was Barnet who then came calling and gave Holmes his chance of playing in the Football League.
The 25-year-old has never looked back but admitted he did feel an added sense of satisfaction as he celebrated in front of his family and friends in the crowd.
Holmes said: “Scoring in your home town against the club you grew up supporting and the club that released you - to be honest it was a dream come true for me.
“You just want to go out there and prove a point and hopefully I’ve done that with a goal and an assist.”
Holmes’ impressive strike came in the 54th minute when the winger picked up the ball on the halfway line before cutting inside on to his right foot and hammering the ball into the top corner from long distance.
“There was no chance of not celebrating,” Holmes joked.
“To be honest I was absolutely buzzing - these were the ones who let me go and stopped me having the opportunity to play as a young kid so to go and do it on their turf was great.”
While he was happy to prove a point to his former club, Barnet’s number 11 admitted he still feels an affinity for Southend and refused to rule out playing for the Shrimpers again in the future.
He added: “Hopefully Southend can kick on and get out of the league now, I still look out for their results being a fan and you never know, maybe I’ll play for them again in the future if they come knocking on the door, we’ll have to see.”
Holmes also had a hand in Barnet’s second goal as his driven cross was diverted in by Jake Hyde to put Barnet two up.
And Bees boss Mark Robson was full of praise for Holmes’ performance.
Robson said: “It was a sensational goal, a goal that would have graced the Premier League, and it was a good move that started it off from out of our box and Ricky’s gone on a great run.
“Ricky’s capable of that we know that on his day he can be fantastic and that was a goal and a half and of course he did great job for our second goal as well.”
Southend went on to wipe out Barnet’s two-goal advantage, first from the spot through Freddy Eastwood before Kevan Hurst equalised with six minutes to go.
After the match Holmes couldn’t hide his disappointment that the Bees had again failed to notch their first win of the season before but said he is now looking to the next league game against Plymouth on Saturday.
“You’ve got to take the positives but in our situation when we haven’t won a game yet it’s hard to stay upbeat,” Holmes said.
“We’re probably the only side in the Football League who haven’t won a game but I’m sure the results will come, we’re working together as a team every day and if we keep putting in performances like that I’m sure we can string some results together.
“We’ve got Plymouth next in the league which is definitely a winnable game at our place.”