SCORING the winning goal in front of the Covered End five minutes from time, new boy Joe Anyinsah couldn’t have dreamed for a better Charlton debut.

The ex-Carlisle forward came off the bench to coolly slot the only goal past Stuart Nelson in the Addicks’ victory over Notts County.

And after being put through his paces by manager Phil Parkinson and his coaching staff in order to earn a one-year deal, the 25-year-old is relieved his hard work has paid off for himself and for the team.

He admitted: “I was pretty surprised [with the goal] myself, to be honest. It was good work from Lee Martin to look up and find me and I was quite surprised to see I had a lot of space.

“It was a pretty instinctive shot and I was just really delighted to see it in the back of the net.

“Relief is the big word because we were under quite a bit of pressure in parts of the game so it was a relief to get that goal and hang onto the three points.”

Joe was as delighted as one would expect with the nature of his Addicks bow, going on to add: “That’s what you dream of if you’re not starting, to come on and score what turned out to be the winner – what more could you ask for?

“Making an impression on the fans was really important because sometimes they might not take to you if you don’t start off very well but it was a good start for me and hopefully I can build on that.”

It’s a remarkable turnaround for a player who elected to leave Brunton Park despite a strong campaign last season in order to relocate closer to his hometown of Bristol, only to have his search for a new club threatened by a hamstring injury.

And the amount of accomplished players still looking for employment clearly played on his mind when Parkinson and his staff set Anyinsah one rigorous test after another before finally offering him a deal.

He said: “Not having a club is every player’s worst fear as there are a lot of top players who haven’t got a club.

“I like to think myself fortunate to be given a chance here so obviously I’ve got to show gratitude to the gaffer and the coaching staff here.

“I moved from Bristol a long time ago when I was 19. It was a good move at the time going to Preston and then onto Carlisle which is obviously a million miles away from Bristol.

“I just thought it was time to come a bit further South and nearer to Bristol to see a bit more of my family.”

On earning his Charlton deal, he continued: “It was very difficult at first.

“I thought I was being punished when the manager was making me come in earlier than all the other lads and stay after training.

“But he did say that it’s going to help me because this is a bit club and I think at clubs like this you need to step up.

“You can’t just be run-of-the-mill, you’ve got to really put the effort in and he really put me through my paces but it’s paying off now.

“I’d come in early and do a run, then I’d train with the lads and then I’d come out of training and do another run with the fitness coach then join back in training.

“Then when everyone’s gone home I’d be back in at half past two for another run, it was difficult and I had to squeeze a lot of what the other lads had done into a couple of weeks to try and prove myself but it’s all worked out nicely.”

Parky was just as pleased as Joe with his memorable debut, stating: “I was delighted for Joe.

“He has worked with Donough [Holohan] from 8 o’clock in the morning having his own pre-season.

“We threw a few testers his way. I said to him ‘we’ll see you tomorrow morning at eight’ before we’d offered him a contract to see how hungry he was to kick-start his career and he was on time and worked his socks off.

“It’s a great story really. It’s been on TV and in the papers a lot about players not getting clubs and Joe decided to do something about it.”