Until the FA Cup final Ben Watson's claim to fame was as a curiosity. Roberto Martinez once brought him off the bench late in a game purely to take a penalty kick. It was his first touch, and he scored.
The Londoner was an impact substitute again on Saturday, and what an impact. His last-minute goal was one of the ancient competition's most stunning winners and all the sweeter for being his first goal since breaking his leg in November.
Watson only returned to action earlier this month, and that was a bonus for Martinez who thought he would be out for the season. Watson said he had never given up hope and had used the possibility of a cup final appearance to drive him on
"When you break your leg you always wonder if you're ever going to play again for a start. So to get back, play two games and then come on today to score the winner is just incredible.
"I didn't think I wasn't going to play again [once the severity of the injury was diagnosed] because it wasn't that bad a break. But you think it's never going to be right, and when you first start running it's still a bit sore and you think 'why is it still sore?' You twist and turn and you can't do the same off your right leg as your left. It's fine now but those thoughts do go through your head.
"Its been a tough six months but if you put the hard work in you get the rewards. I've worked hard in the gym and been surrounded by some great people who have helped me get through it.
"Every round that went past and we got through I always thought 'can I get myself fit for the FA Cup final'? It was an aim. I always thought positively."Reuse content