Cheltenham Town video: Darren Carter - Fantastic feeling to be back
DARREN Carter hopes the dark days are firmly behind him after he shone brightly in Cheltenham Town's midfield in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Wycombe Wanderers.
The former England youth international started his first competitive match for 16 months after a long road back from a torn adductor muscle suffered in a trial match for Nottingham Forest reserves.
While disappointed not to have marked his full debut for the Robins with a victory after a dominant display at Adams Park, Carter said it was a special feeling to be back in action.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"It was fantastic and it was my first 90 minutes in a very long time at competitive level, so I loved every minute of it," Carter said.
"I am frustrated we didn't win, but to be back out there pulling on a shirt on a Saturday afternoon – there is no better feeling.
"It was around this time last year I got the injury, so I was contemplating my next step, having the operation and facing a three-and-half or four-month lay-off, so to be back out there was great and something I've worked towards all year."
On one of the hottest days of the year Carter admitted he found it tough going in the latter stages, particularly when he was on the receiving end of a heavy challenge from Wycombe defender Charles Dunne.
"I said to the full-back that I didn't need that in the 85th minute," he joked.
"It was probably one of the hottest days I've experienced as a footballer.
"But we knew it was going to be tough away from home in the heat and I thought we made the ball do the work very well.
"I felt a bit leggy at the end, but the more games I play the fresher I'll feel.
"I felt very fit for 80 minutes and it's just a bit of sharpness and that'll come with games.
"Hopefully I can put in some good performances over the coming weeks."
Along with his deep-lying midfield colleague Marlon Pack, Carter initiated some fine passing moves, with the more advanced Sam Deering causing Wycombe's defence major problems with his darting runs.
He said it was a pleasure to play alongside the 21-year-old, who has worn the armband in each of Cheltenham's opening five League Two fixtures of the campaign in the absence of injured captain Alan Bennett.
"Marlon is an intelligent footballer, you can see he has great ability and he's going to get better and better," Carter said.
"His movement and passing were excellent and it was the same with Sam.
"We got some little triangles going and played some two-touch football.
"Marlon can see a pass, which made it easy for me. We got a bit sloppy at times in the second half, but we still got in behind their defence and we are just gutted we couldn't put another chance away.
"All we need is to be more ruthless in the final third and that will be the aim come this weekend."
Cheltenham play Southend United at the Abbey Business Stadium on Saturday before hosting Oxford United three days later.
â Gloucester City have been drawn at home to Thatcham Town in the FA Cup second qualifying round.
The Evo-Stik Division One South and Central outfit will visit the Abbey Business Stadium on Saturday, September 22.
Alex Sykes' Bishop's Cleeve have also been handed a home draw against Southern Premier side Chippenham Town.