'Buzzing' Haynes admits he was in 'unfamiliar territory' after marking his debut with late winner

‘I saw my mum in the crowd, bless her, and my dad as well, so it's just really nice.’

By James Heneghan
Monday, 1st August 2022, 2:42 pm
Updated Monday, 1st August 2022, 3:02 pm
Ryan Haynes.
Ryan Haynes.

Just nine minutes was all it took for defender-turned-winger Ryan Haynes to make himself a Sixfields hero.

The 26-year-old, who is Northamptonshire born and bred, was brought back to the town to compete with Ali Koiki at left-back but found himself on the wing when he was introduced for his debut against Colchester United on Saturday.

Cobblers were locked at two apiece at the time but Haynes marked his debut in spectacular style, bursting into the penalty box to stick away Sam Hoskins’ low cross with a minute of normal time remaining and grab a dramatic opening-day victory.

"You go to sleep the night before thinking about what you could do to impact the game, especially when you're on the bench,” said Haynes. "You're sitting there wondering ‘how can I come on and make an impact?’

"It's obviously nice to make my debut for the club first and foremost and then to get on the score sheet and get the winner, I'm buzzing. I'm from the area so I have come full circle. Goals usually only come once a year for me!

"I did have friends and family at the ground and that was a big factor in my decision to come here because I'm close to them and they will be able to get to games and see me play. I saw my mum in the crowd, bless her, and my dad as well, so it's just really nice.

"I just thought 'close my eyes and hit it!' but when you come on as a winger, you have to make that run to the back post and when I saw the ball was over on the other side, my first thought was to get into the box. Fortunately, it went through a few bodies and I got on the end of it and finished it off.”

Haynes has typically been a full-back or wing-back throughout his career but Town’s lack of options meant he had to make his debut slightly out of position.

He added: "It was a bit unfamiliar territory for me to play on the wing and it's not really my first position but you just have to do whatever the team needs and maybe I'll play there more now! You just have to give it 100 per cent and give it all you've got and hopefully it comes off and you get rewarded and I got my reward.”

Haynes’ goal ensured Cobblers made a winning start to a new season for the second year in a row.

He continued: "It's the first game of the season, we are still gelling as a group but to get that first win is huge and now we want to keep going from here.

"It's obviously very early days and there is so much football to be played. It's nice to get the three points and now we are looking forward to next weekend.”