When you score your first goal as a professional footballer at the age of 28 you can be excused for having an extravagant celebration.
When you score your first goal as a professional footballer at the age of 28 you can be excused for having an extravagant celebration and that's exactly what Gold Coast captain Michael Thwaite had in mind when he netted a dramatic late equaliser against former club Melbourne Victory.
Thwaite, who has spent the majority of his career playing as a central defender, popped up in the most unlikely of positions during injury time against Victory after making one of his trademark runs through midfield and then finding the back of the net to win his side a much-needed point.
The former Victory man was ecstatic with his late strike, but disappointed that his eagerly awaited goal celebration was thwarted.
"Unfortunately it is an AFL pitch because I was going to run around the whole pitch," Thwaite said after the 1-1 draw.
"If it was like Adelaide United (Hindmarsh Stadium) I would have been all right, but it was too big for me so I had to stop."
A true professional as always, Thwaite credited his coaching staff for the goal and said the extra work he'd done on the training track had helped him remain calm when closing in on goal.
"It is a full credit to (assistant coaches) Mike Mulvey and Con Boutsianis who have been working hard on my technique in trying to beat the keeper and move him the wrong way," Thwaite said.
"I tried to roll the dice ... I got a lucky nutmeg, I took it off Mace (Maceo Rigters), which he wasn-t too happy about, and then had an early shot."
Miron Bleiberg was also a happy man after the Victory match, with the Gold Coast boss believing that the late equaliser was well deserved.
"I think we deserved a point as we had as many chances as they did," he said.
And Bleiberg has not given up hope of his young side making a late run at the finals.
Gold Coast sit on the bottom of the Hyundai A-League ladder and nine points off sixth-placed Sydney FC, but do have a game in hand over every one of their rivals chasing a finals berth.
"I know you in the media, you have to have everything black or white, but there is also grey," a typically cryptic Bleiberg said.
"For me, to be in the top six you need 35 points and we now have 15."
"So we are short by 20 and we still have nine games to play which is more than any other team."
"Nine games times three points is 27, so if we get 20 out of the 27 it is easy."
But Bleiberg said Gold Coast's season can still be deemed a success, even if they don't sneak into a finals position.
"If we don't finish bottom after spending so much time on the bottom I think it will be an achievement," he said.
"We still believe we are not the worst team in the competition."