GOALS, goals and more goals – that’s the mantra from Tadcaster Albion as they look to strike for the top.
The Northern Counties East League premier division title hopefuls got their season up and running this past week after battering Barnoldswick 5-0 in the opening salvo of the FA Cup and then numbing Nostell Miners Welfare 4-2 in the league in midweek.
Those rampant victories brought goals for all four strikers – Carl Stewart, Calum Ward, Danny Critchlow and teenager Mitch Hamilton – plus a brace from summer signing Josh Greening to leave manager Paul Marshall purring.
“It’s good that all our main strikers are already off the mark, especially after we lost our first game of the season to Shaw Lane Aquaforce,” said Marshall, who reflected how the surge to second place in the premier division last term was fuelled by an attack that topped a ton of goals.
Marshall is plotting an even heavier treasure trove now that Greening has been added to the mix as a supplier and scorer form midfield.
“Josh can easily weigh in with 20 goals while you would expect 30-plus from the combination of Stewart and ward up front. And then we have Critchlow and 17-year-old Hamilton, who always seems to score when he comes on off the bench,” said the Albion chief.
“There should be 100 goals plus in this squad and that should put us on the road to success.”
Marshall’s optimism was also buoyed by two new signings which have strengthened the Brewers’ rearguard resilience.
Andy Milne has just been joined by Paddy Miller, “a massive signing” from Bradford Park Avenue according to the Tadcaster boss.
“He can play at left-back or at centre-half or the left-side of midfield. Even more important is that he gives us some balance along the left side that we have been missing and it will allow George Bissett, who has been filling in there, to enjoy his more favourable position on the right.”
Marshall has a full-strength squad to pick from for tomorrow’s visit of Glasshoughton Welfare when revenge will be a significant part of Albion’s motivation.
“Out of our last ten league games last season we had nine wins,” the Albion manager recalled. “Our only defeat was to Glasshoughton, who had just one shot – a penalty – and took all three points from a game we dominated. We definitely owe them one.”
There was a further boost for the Tadcaster ranks and especially Marshall last night.
The FA Cup trophy, in its second year as a new piece of silverware, arrived at Ings Lane as part of a nationwide tour promoting the competition.
Said Marshall: “It was great for me to get my hands on the cup as I held the previous trophy just over ten years ago when I was manager of Harrogate Railway when we had a great run in the competition.”
Glasshoughton were beaten 1-0 in midweek by Pickering Town for whom the decisive goal was notched in the third minute by midfielder Joel Ramm.
Meanwhile, Selby Town will be looking to extend their winning start to the NCEL division one campaign when they travel to Pontefract Collieries.
After keeping clean sheets in wins over AFC Mansfield and Penistone Church, manager Dave Ricardo is expecting tomorrow's game to be his side's toughest test of the season so far.
"We've got six points - and the two clean sheets have been really good," he said. "A tight defence always makes me happy."
Goalkeeper Mark Wilberforce suffered a triple leg break last weekend and youngster Ollie Thane stepped in for the 3-1 League Cup victory over Louth in midweek.
Goals from Matty Start (2) and Craig Muirhead put the Robins through to round two.
Third-placed Knaresborough Town host Dronfield.
Harrogate Town have followed an opening day home draw with Tamworth with two away defeats in the Conference North – 2-1 to Bradford PA and 3-2 at Hednesford. They return to Wetherby Road tomorrow to host Barrow.
A five-goal Evo-Stik League first division north thriller between Scarborough Athletic and Harrogate Railway went the way of the former 3-2 in midweek. Former York City man James Beadle bagged two late goals for the Seadogs.
Scarborough entertain New Mills tomorrow, while Railway, for whom Nathan Cartman has bagged three goals in his first two games, head to Droylsden.