Dunfermline’s gruelling away day in England felt more like a happy homecoming to Myles Hippolyte as he helped the Pars see off Boreham Wood in front of a swathe of his friends and family.
The 23-year-old hails from London, starting his career with non-league clubs such as Southall, Tamworth and Hayes & Yeading before making the move to Scotland in 2014 in a bid to realise his dream of playing full-time football.
On his return south of the Border to face Boreham Wood on Saturday, Hippolyte was roared on by his dad and brother, both named Michael, and a host of close friends.
Indeed, while the rest of his team-mates were already back in the dressing room following the penalty shootout victory that secured Irn-Bru Cup progress, he was the last man off the pitch as he caught up with some familiar faces.
“It was good to be back in London – well, the outskirts anyway,” smiled Hippolyte, pictured. “It’s something that I’ve missed. I had my dad, my brother, my cousins in the crowd and some really good friends that I haven’t seen in around three years – and they were able to come and watch me. It was a nice occasion in that way.
“My dad was always a huge part in my career. Anything I ever needed when I was younger – training, coaching or anything else – he was there for me, and it was the same with my brother, so it’s special that they were here.
“The people that came to the Boreham game are the same ones who have supported me since I was very young, which was a nice feeling.”
Hippolyte’s fan club saw him slot home a clinical penalty during the shootout as the Pars dispatched six successful efforts, ensuring Connor Smith would be the villain when his kick struck the bar in sudden death.
While not a display of flowing football at Meadow Park – their best chance was wasted when Aidan Connolly was denied by goalkeeper Ryan Huddart after being sent clear on goal – the Pars were resolute and tidy in possession.
Following successive defeats by three-goal margins against Ayr United and Inverness, Hippolyte hopes the display is a sign of things to come.
“Everyone has enjoyed the trip down, we’ve done a bit of bonding and even just being together at the hotel and building more of a camaraderie is ideal,” continued Hippolyte. “The trip has been perfect, especially with what has gone on in terms of our recent results.
“We would have liked to open up and score a few goals but the main thing is we got back to winning ways. Hopefully this game helps us build up some momentum again.”