Mansfield Town’s 1-0 win over Crawley Town was a night to remember for best friends Tyler Walker and Jorge Grant as Walker bagged a late winner and Grant won man of the match on his debut.
The pair have grown up together since linking up at parent club Nottingham Forest at the age of 16 and now Grant has joined Walker on loan at the One Call Stadium, giving fans an early taste of his talents with last night’s silky showing.
“It was good to link up with Ty, as always,” he said.
“I spoke to him earlier in the game – saying that he’ll get one today – and he has so I’m really pleased for him.
“It was very enjoyable for me out there especially because we got the win in the end, and played some good football at times, too.
“Obviously I’ve been waiting to get playing again and I really enjoyed it out there.
“It was tough, especially on the legs, but I’m really happy to get the win.
“I thought in the first half we played some really good football. Second half turned a little scrappy but Ty got the goal in the end.”
He added: “It’s really nice from whoever picks the man of the match; I’m really pleased they picked me.
“There were a couple of chances in the first half that I was really close to scoring, so it was one of those where I needed it to fall my way, but Ty got it in the end which is good.
“I felt like I did well first half especially, second half I perhaps drifted in and out of it.
“My passes were a bit loose sometimes but that happens in football when you haven’t played a lot. I felt like I fitted in well.”
Grant’s debut certainly has manager David Flitcroft purring over his display, saying: “I love watching Jorge and his movement. He is an elegant mover.
“He has guile, football intelligence and is calm and considered in his work.
“I love the way he moves on the ball. He’s bright and intuitive on the pitch.
“We switched to a 4-4-2 late on, and you can see him putting a shift in down the right-hand side. That’s why he’ll do brilliantly in the game.
“We also know there are goals in him as well after what he did at Notts
“When you work with him, you see the quality. When you bring in that sort of quality, it lifts everyone else as well.”
Flitcroft added: “Jorge came here with Tyler in the summer and at the time I tried kidnapping him and keeping him here. I’ll never forget it!
“We had a really good rappore, but then he got the Luton move which was the right move to go and play for Nathan Jones.
“I kept monitoring it and didn’t think we’d get him.
“Then we saw he’d been released and the chairman phoned me and said they’d made a phone call to the owners of Nottingham Forest.
“They kept those communication lines really open. They have a really good relationship with Nottingham Forest’s owners. We were alerted to it and were really quick to do the deal.
“The biggest thing is the relationship he’s got with Tyler and how close they are.
“Tyler told him about the environment here. We used Tyler to sell it, but it wasn’t a hard sell.
“Tyler has been looked after and supported. He loves it here and is really committed to being a Mansfield Town player which is important for any loan signing.”