It’s no fluke that on so many occasions throughout his young career striker Darren Lok has sprang from the substitutes bench and fired in crucial late goals for his club.
Once again last Sunday at Kingstonian Lok was up to usual tricks as he pounced ahead of tiring defenders in the dying minutes to claim an FA Cup winner.
Borough were 2-0 up and cruising at Ryman Premier League side Kingstonian thanks to goals from Simon Johnson and Lloyd Foot.
Lok was patrolling the touchline going through his warm-up routine and fully expected Borough to shut-up shop and cruise to a routine victory and secure a comfortable passage into the fourth qualifying round.
Kingstonian though refused to roll over and former Borough hitman Elvis Hammond netted for 2-1.
Boss Tommy Widdrington introduced the 23-year-old Lok in place of Gavin McCallum with instructions to play behind the front two.
Hammond struck once again for 2-2 and Kingstonians pushed forward for the winner. The game became stretched, the home defence were tired and Lok was in his element. With 93 minutes on the clock Foot advanced from midfield, picked out Lok’s darting run and the striker finished well from an acute angle.
There was no way back for the Kings, Borough banked the £7,500 prize money and set up a home tie against Conference Premier outfit Dover Athletic.
Lok said, “When I’m on the bench I’m watching their defence throughout the match.
“When they’ve been on the pitch for the whole game you can see when some of them are struggling or getting tired. I know when I come on I’m going to be fresh and I can run at them and cause problems. You just have to stay focussed and concentrate and do your best when you come on. It can be hard sometimes, the game is in full flow and you have to get up to speed as soon as you come on.”
Lok admits he can’t remember too much about the winner but said he was delighted for the small army of travelling Borough fans who made their way to the Kingsmeadow Ground on a Sunday afternoon.
“The support was great on the day and it’s great we got the win for them. I think we would have beaten them comfortably at our place if it had gone to a replay but it’s always good to get the job done at the first attempt.”
Competition for places up front is fierce this season at Priory Lane. Richard Pacquette, Elliott Charles, Gavin McCallum and James Walker all offer different options for the boss and are all fighting for a starting role. While Lok is happy to make his invaluable contributions from the bench he remains eager to establish himself in the starting line-up.
“I’m not a big fan of the ‘super sub’ tag to be honest. Obviously it’s a great to score late winners and help the team but it would be strange to say I’m happy to sit on the bench.
“I prefer to be starting but if I am on the bench I always want to come on make an impact.
“The aim is to keep working and improve my game so I can be just as effective from the start.
“We have a lot of options up front this season. It’s probably the best strike force we have had at the club since I have been here. We all want to start but it’s a long season and players will get tired or injured so we will all get our chance.”
Lok could well get his chance to shine from the start as Borough return to league action at Gosport Borough on Saturday.
Last year Lok scored twice in Gosport as Borough won 2-1. “I’ve good memories of that one so hopefully that can be a lucky omen for us. Our form is starting to pick up again. We had a great start but then we lost a few and our confidence dropped.
“The cup games have helped us to get back on track, we had a good result against Staines in the league and we are moving forward, things are good.”