Australian midfielder Kenny Dougall defied his coach’s advice to take centre stage at Wembley overnight on Sunday, scoring two goals to help his club Blackpool win through to the English Championship.
The defensive midfielder, who has spent the last seven years in Europe, became the first player from his country to score two goals in a Wembley final as Blackpool came from a goal down to defeat Lincoln City in the League One playoff at the famous London stadium.
Kenny Dougall celebrates one of his playoff goals at Wembley.Credit:Getty Images
Dougall’s double could not exactly have been predicted, as the Queenslander had only scored once in the league this season; he notched his second goal for the Tangerines last week in the playoff semi-final win over Oxford United, in which Blackpool triumphed 6-3 on aggregate after two legs.
In fact those were the only two goals he had scored in his previous three years in the English game having joined Blackpool earlier this season after a spell at Barnsley.
He revealed post-match that his manager Neil Critchley had hitherto advised him not to shoot but to look for passing alternatives in the region of the goal.
Both men were delighted that Dougall ignored the instruction.
Dougall holds up the trophy after Blackpool’s promotion.Credit:Getty Images
“Earlier on in the season he [the manager] was telling me not to shoot,” a happy Dougall revealed as he soaked up the achievement in the post game celebrations.
“You don’t get to play at Wembley often, so to score two goals is fantastic. It was the worst possible start you can have but credit to the lads, we got ourselves together and then once we’re ahead in games we’re very good at staying in front,” he told Sky Sports.
His first strike came in the 34th minute when he cancelled out the lead Lincoln had taken through an Oliver Turton own goal in the first minute.
His second came in the 54th minute, capping a stirring fightback which eventually ended with Blackpool returning to the second tier of English football for the first time in six years.
Dougall will now head to the Socceroos’ camp for the World Cup qualifers in Kuwait with an extra spring in his step.
He has yet to win a Socceroos cap, but he did play four times for the national under-23 team.
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