On Tuesday evening, after seeing his umpteenth attempt on goal ricochet off a defender’s legs or scrambled away to safety, Martyn Woolford looked skywards and howled in frustration.
Sheffield United might have won their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Hartlepool. But it is not a match the former Scunthorpe winger, who also missed from the spot during the decisive penalty shoot-out, will care to remember anytime soon.
Nevertheless, although the footballing gods conspired against him at Victoria Park, Ryan Flynn, Woolford’s fellow winger and team mate, is convinced his colleague’s luck is about to change.
“Martyn is a quality player,” Flynn said. “He was so unfortunate at Hartlepool, coming so close numerous times, and then not scoring.
“That’s just the way it is sometimes. He deserved to get that goal.
“What he showed out there, though, was that he’s the type of person who creates chances and gets on the end of opportunities. We’re a team that seems to be making lots of openings so he’ll definitely be a part of that and add to it.”
United’s visit to the North-East proved a much more memorable occasion for Flynn who, having been absent since the start of the season, marked his return from injury with a first-half goal. The 26-year-old showed no signs of ring rust before being substituted after 72 minutes and could feature in the squad which hosts Bury next weekend.
“I got a bit tired and then caught my second wind after the break. I might have been able to last a bit longer but the manager probably saved me from myself. I can be my own worst enemy, trying to do too much, at times.”
Woolford, who arrived at Bramall Lane after leaving Millwall during the close season, is still searching for his first United goal but has featured in all but one of their outings under new manager Nigel Adkins.
“He had shots blocked and hacked away but we’re a pretty tough bunch us wingers,” Flynn acknowledged. “Some games, when you are going at your marker, it might not happen.
“You can’t lose it once and then think ‘oh well, that’s it.’ You’ve got keep asking them questions because otherwise, you’ll never break people down. We are among that group that’s got to try and be a match-winner.
“You’ve got to take risks at times and sometimes those aren’t going to come off. But that’s just part and parcel of what we do.”