It seems that patience has most definitely been a virtue for Jordon Crawford.
Having arrived at Kettering Town from Corby Town as one of the Poppies’ major signings of the summer, opportunities to show what he can do at a higher level haven’t been thrown at him in abundance.
That, however, wasn’t really down to him. It was more the fact that the likes of Callum Powell and Claudio Ofosu were performing so well for the club in the early part of the season.
There had been plenty of clamour from the Poppies’ fan base for Paul Cox to unleash Crawford before now and you can almost guarantee that clubs from the levels below would have offered him a chance to go out and play on loan.
Instead, the young forward has just kept his head down. Cox has publicly praised him for his work ethic and, as the Poppies’ Vanarama National League North campaign levels out somewhat, it seems now is the time for Crawford.
He was handed his first start at Hereford last Tuesday and, despite a disappointing 3-0 defeat, caught the eye.
He kept his place for Saturday’s home clash with Boston United and, after his good mate Connor Kennedy had headed Kettering into an early lead, Crawford’s big moment arrived.
He plucked a ball forward from Connor Johnson out of the air and showed all the confidence in the world as he beat Marcus Dewhurst with a low shot across goal.
There may not be a more popular goal this season.
Crawford’s all-action display deservedly earned him the Poppies’ man-of-the-match award but it all proved to be bittersweet as Boston hit back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and condemn Cox’s team to a third defeat in a row in all competitions.
“It’s mixed emotions,” Crawford said.
“We got off to a great start with a two-goal lead and we felt firmly in control.
“But, like in recent weeks, it’s little one per cents and little mishaps in concentration that have cost us.
“It felt really good to score, I can’t remember the last time I scored a goal in a competitive game!
“I have been very patient, it’s been a long time coming but I am one of those people who knows that once I get that chance then I am going to take it.
“I have always been confident and I got another chance at the weekend and I feel like I took it.
“The result wasn’t what we wanted but we will work hard and go and try to get the next one.
“It’s a very frustrating one because all the boys worked really hard and we didn’t allow Boston much throughout the 90 minutes.
“We felt we put an absolute shift in and, on another day, we could have come away with three points but we haven’t, we have come away with a loss and it’s a tough one to take.
“We just have to stick together, dig in and we will turn this around and start climbing the table.”
While the differences between Kettering and Boston, at this moment in time, are stark when it comes to financial power and stature, the Poppies are now heading into a three-game stretch where they could really do with getting more points on the board before they head into what looks like a very tough festive period.
They head to bottom side AFC Telford United on Saturday with that being followed by a trip to Leamington on December 18 while Southport come to Latimer Park four days before Christmas Day.
But it’s one game at a time and Crawford is only focused on Telford and helping his team to stop the rot before it becomes something bigger.
“It’s a big game but the mindset doesn’t change, the hard work continues,” Crawford added.
“We have to keep pushing. It’s a new week and a new opportunity.
“We have shown time and again this season that we can compete and compete with the top teams.
“The boys have pulled off some great results at times and we are just looking for that consistency to really start climbing. We need it quickly but I’m sure we’ll get there.”