JACK Payne is mostly known for his jinking runs and creative qualities.

But in Southend United’s Wembley win against Wycombe Wanderers it was his tackling which played a crucial part.

Payne won the ball back to start the move which led to Joe Pigott’s late equaliser.

And Payne still feels it was his best ever challenge. “It was the best tackle I’ve ever made,” said Payne.

“I’d actually forgotten about it but it started off the move for the goal and what a goal it was as well from Pigs (Joe Pigott).

“It was incredible and from there we just had to win it.”

Pigott’s late equaliser took the tie to penalties where Blues triumphed 7-6.

And Payne was among those to hit the back of the net for the Shrimpers.

“I wasn’t nervous but at the time I didn’t realise that if I missed and they scored then they would’ve won,” said Payne.

“I only realised that afterwards but I was quite confident and I was buzzing when it went in.”

Payne came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall along with goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.

And he always knew the shot-stopper would come up trumps for the Shrimpers.

“I knew he would save at least one because I know how good he is at saving penalties,” said Payne.

“I had practised loads against him so I knew he would do what he did and it was unbelievable for him that he did.”

Bentley saved two of the Chairboys’ penalties to spark wild celebrations which Payne still recalls with great fondness.

“Looking back it’s up there with the best day of my life if not the best day,” said Payne.

“At the time I didn’t realise how massive it was because it was my first promotion.

“It just happened and I didn’t really take it in.

“It’s not until I look back that I realise how amazing it was.”

But Payne had started to fear it was not going to happen for Blues.

“I just thought it was never going to happen,” said Payne.

“The goal seemed to happen in slow motion as well.

“I was just to the right of Pigs when he scored and I remember thinking if the keeper saves it here I could be in for a tap in.

“When I watch it back I’m not actually as close in as I thought but I just couldn’t believe when we scored.”

And the resulting success on spot-kicks also led to a memorable evening.

“We went back to Southend afterwards and it was really special,” said Payne.

“I remember a few of the lads saying making sure you take this all in and now I’m a bit older I know what they mean."