By Micah Richards | In Blog
I’ve been looking back over my career and reflecting on the best bits so far over the last few days, and one definite highlight for me was my first ever goal for Manchester City’s senior side against Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
When we went behind, it was against the run of play as I remember us being all over them. Their keeper, (Thomas) Sorensen, had made good saves to deny Darius (Vassell) and (Joey) Barton, and I had an earlier header cleared off the line by (James) Milner I think.
I’d played quite well, and when we won the corner in the last minute I just thought I may as well go up, as I knew there wouldn’t be much time for Villa to break away and score a second goal.
I was getting jostled in the penalty area but I was fully focused on jumping highest and meeting the ball. As it was floated in, I managed to shake off my marker to give myself the best chance to connect with it.
I remember being in a complete daze after it went in. Even though I was playing on the right-flank, which gives you more opportunities to break forward, I was reluctant to leave any space behind me during the game. Then, all of a sudden, the ball was coming straight towards me, and I knew that as long as I got a firm head on it, it’d go in.
It did, and I can’t fully explain in words what it felt like. I played up front and in midfielder in my earlier years, and scored quite a few goals for City’s youth teams and reserves, but none of them compared with that header.
Even though it only secured a draw, the fact that it was the FA Cup and my first senior goal was unbelievable. I remember speaking to my dad after the game and just being speechless, which is something that’s rare to me, but it was perfect.
I’ve always been a good jumper, being able to elevate myself from standing, and after that goal, opposition defenders spent a lot more time marking me when we got corners and free-kicks and I would go up for them.
It’s a cliché, but it’s every footballers’ dream to score a goal in the FA Cup, or even just score a goal for their team. I’ll remember that one for the rest of my life, and no one can take it away from me.