Steve Kinniburgh admitted the relief and emotion came flooding out of the Kettering Town players when they celebrated his dramatic winner against Aylesbury United.
After a week that had seen the club wound up in the High Court, prompting an appeal and a mass fundraising effort to help keep them alive, the Poppies players responded by sealing their first win at Latimer Park.
But it was done in dramatic style in front of over 700 people as Kettering raced into a 2-0 lead before falling 3-2 down and then fighting back to secure a dramatic 4-3 success.
And Kinniburgh went from villain to hero as he missed a penalty while his team were 3-2 down but then popped up with the winner after substitute Lewis Wilson had levelled shortly after the spot-kick.
Kinniburgh sparked wild celebrations on and off the pitch and the hero of the hour said: “If Brad (Piercewright) hadn’t got hold of me I would probably still running now!
“I think it was just a build up of relief and emotion coming out. The crowd erupted and all the players were happy and it is moments like that which make you want to play football.
“You get told as a young player that you have more downs than ups and we have had a lot of downs this season. But that was a massive up for us and hopefully we can remember how that moment felt.”
It proved to be an emotionally-charged afternoon at Latimer Park with fans still not sure whether they were watching their club for the last time.
And Kinniburgh insists he always felt Kettering were capable of coming back to seal a second win of the Calor League Division One Central campaign even after squandering that 2-0 lead.
The Scot added: “With the week that we have had, I just thought we should keep people waiting another 10 minutes! It was better to score at the end to make it more dramatic!
“With the penalty, I was waiting for the goalkeeper to move but he didn’t and I just picked a spot and he has saved it. But Lewis (Wilson) has scored about a minute after it which was a relief and then right at the end I have managed to get the winner.
“We scored two fantastic goals early on and everyone was relaxed, we had the fans behind us as they have been all season and it was all going very well.
“But set-pieces have let us down again and then we gave away a penalty and we found ourselves 3-2 down. But even then, it didn’t feel like other games. I think everyone felt we could get back into it.
“Will (Muzvimbiri) and Lewis came on and looked lively. They got us back into it and it was a dramatic day to end a dramatic week.”