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Tony’s cracker may spark debate

Chasing him down the player’s entrance, I interrupted Tony Diagne’s phone call when I asked him to talk me through his thoughts on firing in the first goal of a famous cup win for Macclesfield.

Chasing him down the player’s entrance, I interrupted Tony Diagne’s phone call when I asked him to talk me through his thoughts on firing in the first goal of a famous cup win for Macclesfield.

Having fizzed in the goal of the round to set up the win over Swindon, the Frenchman was understandably in a jovial mood and though I was happy to wait until he was ready, he told the caller he’d phone him back.

On the other end of the phone was his friend and former team-mate, Arnaud Mendy, whose stay at the Moss Rose will be best remembered for his own slice of FA Cup folklore; a jaw-dropping flick-and-volley on the spin in last season’s third-round tie against Bolton Wanderers.

And having heard that his former housemate had struck the first goal in Macc’s victory Mendy had been the first to congratulate him.

"I was just on the phone to him now, he’s very happy for me as well," revealed the 22-year-old. "They (Luton Town, who faced Nuneaton) drew but hopefully they’ll go on to win.

"If we’re going to move on too we have to be on it.

"That was a good team we played today, but we defended together, we were disciplined and compact all the time.

"It was a good game for me and Carl (Martin) but everyone defended well, Carl and Jacko and Craig too and even Wedge and Kieran, and Lance is a very, very good keeper, everyone’s happy now.

"I just said when we had that free kick ‘I want that’, I was not letting anyone else have it."

The result of his refusal to step away from the free kick was an unerring drive from 40 yards that flew beyond Robins keeper Wes Foderingham and into the top corner of the goal.

And while the two buddies can – and probably will – debate whose goal was the better one, Diagne’s manager Steve King was in no doubt as to the quality he showed.

"Tony Diagne’s goal was one of the best I’ve ever seen," he insisted. "If Ronaldo had hit that they’d be showing it again and again, it must have been 40 yards out and going 80 miles an hour, right into the stanchion.

"And he had to break his stride as well, when it came to him he had to check his run a bit, and I’ve never seen an opposing manager (Paolo Di Canio) stand 15 yards on the pitch applauding a goal for us, either.

"Tony’s technically very good, we’re trying to get him on the ball a bit more and play out from the back a bit more, but the way he and Carl Martin defended was outstanding.

And the former Nottingham Forest defender, signed by Gary Simpson from his local side CM Aubervilliers in January 2011, freely admits his 63rd minute goal was he best he’s produced, putting his first in a Silkmen shirt in the shade.

"I don’t think I’ve scored a better goal," he admitted. "I liked the one I scored from an overhead kick against Hereford, but that one today is the best goal I’ve got.

"I said to JP (Kissock) ‘just give it a little touch’ but it was a bit heavy – I had to strike it and I did and just thought ‘wooah,’ and I saw it go into the net. It felt amazing, a great feeling."

And he’ll certainly have few team-mates standing in his way the next time there’s a chance to flex his left foot again.

 

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