Andre Wisdom was delighted to be the unlikely hero as he fired home a dramatic injury-time goal in Derby County’s 2-1 success at Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday evening.
Wisdom scored just his second goal for the Rams, and only his third-ever career goal, deep into added time at Adams Park to hand the side a second successive win in the Sky Bet Championship.
The defender’s strike, on his 200th career start in club football, could not have been better timed with what was almost the final kick of the game.
Derby had taken the lead through Uche Ikpeazu’s first-half own goal from Martyn Waghorn’s corner, before Ikpeazu atoned for his own goal by scoring from the penalty spot shortly after the break following a foul by Jason Knight.
With the game edging towards a draw in the final moments of added time, Wisdom made no mistake when the opportunity to be Derby’s matchwinner came his way after Waghorn’s free-kick had rebounded into his path off the post.
Talking to RamsTV after the final whistle, Wisdom said: “It was good to get the goal at the time that we did, so Wycombe couldn’t get back into the game.
“It was great for me to get the winner and we are happy with the three points.
“We all know that we have to be better on the ball and off the ball, eradicate stupid free-kicks and set plays that are unnecessary, and we had to dig deep and that’s what we did.
“It is not always going to be perfect. We are going to make mistakes, myself included, and we have got to be honest about it, keep our heads down, grit our teeth and keep trying.”
He added: “We saw tonight that nothing is easy and we are not going to get any free tap-ins or points, so we have to grind out everything that’s possible.
“At the start of the season things like that wasn’t falling for us, but hopefully now we can be on the other side of it and get a bit of luck to move up the table.”
Wisdom netted his first Rams goal in an FA Cup Fourth Round replay win over Northampton Town at Pride Park Stadium last season.
His first league goal in Derby colours could not have been better timed and he was quick to admit he was, fortunately, in the right place at the right time.
Wisdom explained: “That was the first time I went up for a free-kick tonight because we needed it!
“I am glad it paid off. It was a great free-kick from Waggy and he unfortunate to see it hit the post and I was in the right place at the right time. I just put my foot through the ball and it went in.
“I just made good contact and knew I had to make it firm. There were a few people on the line but I just thought if I made the right contact it would go in or off someone else. I’m just glad it went in.”
Derby are back on the road on Friday night when they travel to promotion-chasing Watford in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
The Hornets, relegated from the Premier League last season, are on the cusp of the automatic promotion places but Derby will make the journey south in confident mood after picking up five wins from their last six league outings.
“This league is tough,” Wisdom said when asked about Friday’s upcoming match. “We can’t start to take anything for granted after a couple of wins because, as we have seen this season, everything is difficult.
“We have another difficult test on Friday away at Watford so we have to recover right and have our heads on and take in information that the gaffer and coaches give us, which will be a lot, especially after tonight’s performance.”