Pearson admits Shrewsbury strike was a fluke

Hatters defender Matty Pearson
Hatters defender Matty Pearson

Town centre back Matty Pearson couldn’t keep a straight face when declaring he meant his goal at Shrewsbury on Saturday.

The defender picked the ball up on the right hand flank of all places, before sending over a cross that bamboozled keeper Steve Arnold and dropped into the net.

I wasn’t expecting to score from out there, I think emotion just got the better of me, but it was a good old sprint weren’t it?

Matty Pearson

It’s the second time Pearson has done so this season, although his effort at Peterborough in the Checkatrade Trophy was eventually ruled as an own goal for Posh keeper Conor O’Malley.

When asked afterwards about the strike, he said: “I do practice them.

“No I’m joking, I’m looking to get the ball in the box.

“It’s in a dangerous area, whether the keeper is going to parry it out to a striker that’s there, but it was a massive goal that second goal and I’m just made up it went in.”

Once he did score, Pearson set off on a length of the field dash to celebrate with the 1,334 Town fans at the Montgomery Waters Meadow, saying: “I wasn’t expecting to score from out there, I think emotion just got the better of me, but it was a good old sprint weren’t it?”

Team-mate James Collins, who himself bagged a double, said: “I’m delighted for him and after everything he’s been through the last couple of weeks with his family.

“I was out there on the wing with him and when he went down the line and put it in, I was thinking, ‘no-one’s going to be in there.’

“But he’s found the back post and his celebration was brilliant as well.

“I’m delighted for Matty as he’s renowned for his defensive work, but credit to him, he always pops up with a goal.”

Town interim boss Mick Harford was another who was surprised to see Pearson in the position to deliver such a ball from the wing, saying: “I haven’t spoke to him, but I’m sure he will (try and claim it was a shot).

“I don’t know what he’s doing out there anyway!

“He’s a centre half crossing the ball from the right wing, but he’s absolutely thrilled.

“Matty’s played with a massive black eye, but he’s a warrior Matty and he keeps going.

“I’m absolutely thrilled for him to get that goal, it settled us down and we controlled the game until the end.”

Pearson’s goal was a fifth of the campaign for the defender, after he also bagged the winner at Southend United last week.

It was the 23rd of his career, although he is still some way short of equalling his season high of nine when playing for Accrington in the 2016-17 campaign.

He continued: “It’s something like I’ve said before, I’ve got a knack of doing.

“I just seem to score goals, I don’t know what it is, but I’m just made up.

“I’m especially made up with a clean sheet against Shrewsbury away, last two away games, two clean sheets.

“It is difficult, especially the first 20 minutes, trying to get to grips with the pitch.

“As you can see it is bobbly, but then we just had to grow into it, had to adapt.

“Once we started playing, sucking them out and you could see a couple of times from the goalkeeper, we played right through them and ended up creating a chance.

“That’s what we’re about, bravery and trusting each other on the ball.”

Sporting a nasty bruise to his right eye, Pearson also revealed there was good news regarding his father, who had gone into hospital the previous week.

He added: “Yes, he came out Sunday or Monday, he’s at home now on the mend.

“Hopefully bit by bit he’ll get better, so it was good news.

“It’s (eye injury) not what you need first two minutes of the game.

“But that’s part and parcel and it hasn’t affected me too much.”