Lloyd Kerry praised for impact off the substitutes' bench in Harrogate Town's win over Mansfield Town
Having barely featured for Harrogate Town in recent months, Lloyd Kerry looked like a man with a point to prove when he arrived on the field as a second-half substitute against Mansfield on Tuesday evening.
If the 32-year-old central midfielder was indeed aiming to show manager Simon Weaver and his team-mates what they have been missing then it would be fair to say that he did exactly that.
He added a bit of extra bite in the middle of the pitch, and got himself into a number of good positions to break up Mansfield attacks and get his own side back on the ball.
Kerry's recent inactivity stems from a straight red card he received for perceived violent conduct, not long after coming off the bench in Town's 2-1 defeat at Cambridge United on January 9.
He subsequently served a three-match suspension and, prior to last night's appearance, had only played 24 minutes of football since completing his ban.
His last start came on December 1 as the Sulphurites were thrashed 5-2 by Scunthorpe United, though his impact against Mansfield serves as a reminder of just how much he still has to offer and will doubtless leave boss Weaver with another selection dilemma.
It will be a headache that he will surely welcome, however, and the Harrogate manager was full of praise for one his most loyal servants following what was a hard-earned 1-0 win over the Stags.
"Lloyd has been outstanding for this club over the years and that was a massive contribution tonight. I thought he was immense and helped wrap up the win," Weaver said.
"This is the type of lad he is. He hadn't played football for a while for us but he has been doing his own running and his own fitness work. Bit by bit he edges his way back into contention and he made a real difference when he came on.
"He's fit as a fiddle, ready and prepared and that's what you want. I knew full well what I'd get from Lloyd Kerry throwing him on into that game, that's why I put him on because he guarantees you that level of performance and attitude.
"He's one of the best midfielders I've ever seen at reading and then landing on the second ball. When I first went to watch him after I was tipped off about him it was uncanny how good he was at that side of the game.
"We hear a lot that we're a team who are wholehearted with a lot of energy, but we've got talented players like Lloyd who do a bit more than just run around and he showed his quality in that second half."