10:58am Wednesday 29th February 2012
By Dave Flett
Now that he has broken his scoring duck, the race is on for more goals for Scott Kerr as he tells DAVE FLETT.
FA TROPHY quarter-final hero Scott Kerr has revealed he told several team-mates he was going to end his 121-game drought in front of goal at Grimsby Town on Saturday.
Kerr had gone almost three years without netting prior to heading in the only goal at Blundell Park to send City into the semi-finals and a two-legged tussle with bitter rivals Luton.
But the 30-year-old midfielder joked to Ashley Chambers before the game that he would break his lean spell with a header and even suggested Michael Potts put money on him to do so.
Given Kerr’s past record, it’s unlikely that former Blackburn midfielder Potts acted on the tip-off.
But the last time Kerr netted saw him bag a brace with his less-favoured left foot during a 2-0 win for Lincoln at Accrington in April 2009, so his rare appearances on the scoresheet tend to be as momentous as they are unexpected.
Jesting that fellow midfielder Paddy McLaughlin, who has netted ten times this season, is now in his sights, Kerr said: “We are in the Trophy to win it so it was a great feeling to get the goal that put us in the semi-finals and I’ve told Paddy I’m chasing him now.
“It’s been coming a little while, because I’ve been getting opportunities recently and I told Pottsy to get a few quid on me for the first goal on Saturday. He would have probably got 150-1!
“I’ve never scored a header but I even said to Ash before the game that I wasn’t just going to score a goal – I was going to score a header. Lanre (Oyebanjo) put a great ball in and, when I saw it go in, I didn’t know what to do to be honest.
“But, whilst it was nice for me to get the goal, I’m not a goalscorer – I never have been and never will be. For me, I’m more about controlling things and helping the lads get promotion but, if I can get another goal this season, that would be nice.”
With Kerr having hit the target and Jon Challinor pouncing deep into stoppage time to force a replay as City stared first-round defeat firmly in the face at home to Solihull Moors, the former Scarborough midfielder has admitted he is beginning to feel fate might be playing a part in the club’s Trophy destiny this season.
“When you go all the way in cup competitions, I think all teams look back at little things along the way that make you wonder whether your name was written on the trophy,” he said. “We were out of the competition in the first round before Jon Challinor scored with the last kick of the game and, when I then get the winning goal in the quarter-final, you do think that might be the case but there’s still plenty of work to do before that can happen.”
Kerr would certainly relish running out at Wembley, having never been to the redeveloped stadium, either as a player or supporter.
A visit to the famous venue would also help the Leeds United-supporting midfielder erase painful childhood memories.
“I’ve had a good career but I’ve never played at Wembley so it would be a massive deal for me to do that,” Kerr revealed. “To get there with York City would be great, as it would be for our fans.
“Our main aim is to win the play-off final but, if we can get there twice, that would represent a great season for everybody involved. I’ve never been to the new Wembley.
“I went to the old stadium as a young lad when Leeds were beaten by Aston Villa in the 1996 League Cup final. That wasn’t the best of days for Leeds supporters but the Trophy final would be a great day out for our fans.
“We said we wanted to win it before we kicked a ball in the competition and we’ve proven that by getting one tie away from the final.”
Kerr will also be unfazed by meeting the highest-ranked team left in the competition after the semi-final draw pitched the fifth-placed Minstermen against a Luton team currently two positions above them in the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
After knocking out Grimsby, who had won ten and drawn one of their previous 11 matches, Kerr said: “You have to beat the best teams to get to Wembley as the old cliché goes.
“Other games can be banana skins as well and I would back us to beat anybody over two legs.”
On the significance of Saturday’s success on the squad’s self-belief, Kerr added: “It wasn’t a great performance at Grimsby but we were back to something like we were playing earlier in the season.
“That will stand us in good stead for when we go back there in a few weeks to get a win in the league. A few fans were a bit negative after the Gateshead defeat but we are still fighting and are looking forward to a good run-in.
“The effect of Saturday’s win will be great. Confidence was a bit low after losing to Gateshead, especially among the younger lads and going to a place like Grimsby after a defeat is tough, but we showed great character to dominate the first half before going on to win the game.”
Kerr was also impressed by James Meredith’s conversion into a midfield colleague at Grimsby.
The Australian defender had lost his place at left-back to on-loan Middlesbrough recruit Ben Gibson for the previous two matches but Kerr welcomed his assistance in the Minstermen’s engine-room.
“It was a bit of a different set-up,” Kerr commented. “We were still 4-3-3 but had a flat three in midfield to win more second balls.
“Mes came in and did well and I wasn’t surprised that he did. He’s a great player and it was probably a bit harsh that he was out of the team but Gibbo has come in and done really well.
“The gaffer decided to bring Mes back in midfield because he’s got lots of energy and is a good footballer and I thought he was magnificent.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group