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Watch | Kal Naismith's take on his late winner!

15 January 2022

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Kal Naismith celebrated his year anniversary of being a Hatter by scoring the 97th-minute winner against league leaders Bournemouth at Kenilworth Road today.

The Scot started the game at centre-half, then moved into midfield after fellow goalscorer Allan Campbell had gone off injured.

After the Cherries had fought back from 2-0 down to level, Naismith kept his composure deep into injury-time to beat his man and bend an absolute beauty into the bottom corner with virtually the last kick of the game.

Thousands of fans remained in the stands singing as he and captain Sonny Bradley did their post-match interviews on the pitch immediately after the final whistle for Sky, but a few minutes later he said: “I don’t think it gets any better than that!

“I was speechless almost talking to the Sky cameras, it just hadn’t sunk it, with the noise of the crowd – what a feeling. I’m so happy for everyone.”

He added: “It’s amazing. We knew it was going to be a tough game. We weren’t great against Harrogate, but again, we scored four goals, and we are positive taking anyone on here.

“To go 2-0 up, but just for them to get back in it at 2-2, it was a feeling that we could have let that one slip. But honestly, I’m still struggling to process the goal at the end, it’s just a special feeling.”

On his goal, he went on: “I saw it coming out perfect, and I thought ‘Right, get it under control as quick as possible’. I’ve seen the boy coming out into my face, and just pulled him into me to chop back and I’ve managed to shift it back onto my left.

“I was reaching for it a little bit, so that only gives me the option of going for the one corner, and thankfully there was a pathway through, and then just to see it hit the back of the net…”

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Manager Nathan Jones celebrated with a knee slide in front of the fans in the Kenny End, and Kal admitted: “I’ve not seen it yet. I’ve heard he did two. Went for one, then got up and did another one.

“I was just the same. I didn’t know how to react. Pure joy just takes over and I guess that’s why everyone loves football so much. It wasn’t just me who got the goal, it’s a team effort and everyone is just overcome with joy. The fans, the place was bouncing. What a game!”

Thankfully Naismith failed in his attempt to get his shirt off in celebration, saving him a yellow card. Quickly buried under a pile of players and staff, the former Wigan man explained what was going through his head in the immediate aftermath of the goal.

“I didn’t quite know what I was doing! I tried to get (my shirt) up, but it got stuck somewhere on my back, and I just thought ‘Right, let’s cool it down’. Then I just felt about 300 people were on my back and that was it, he blew the whistle.

“When I was on the ground, I was thinking ‘Just please don’t concede, please don’t concede, get up and defend, get up and defend’. Sonny looked at me and said ‘It’s over’, so the ref must have given him the nod that was it, time’s up. What a feeling!”

And finally, on his anniversary of signing as a free agent, he added: "A year ago today? It’s just been, honestly, not been one bad memory in there from when I joined. I turned up, came into the club and met the physios for the medical, they were just so good. I met the manager, so good.

"Then I got driven from my medical, down to Bournemouth, funnily enough, with Bondy (analyst Dan Bond) who has just left the club. He’ll be a massive miss, I love him to bits.

"I sat in the car and spoke to him for three hours on the way down there, and I just thought, ‘This is going to be a good fit’. Everyone made me so welcome and I’ve just got good memories ever since."

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