One to watch by Tony kelly, Chief Sports Writer

Among the star chamber at Fulham, Geoff Horsfield is one of the lesser-known lights.

One to watch: Geoff Horsfield (right)

And at a cost of £350,000 he is also one of the cheaper imports to the Craven Cottage clan so well-moulded by England football's new ruling 'temp', Kevin Keegan.

But the striker predictably dubbed 'Horse' knows as much about a championship gallop as any of his more illustrious team-mates.

As the Cottagers seek to confirm the Second Division title in the run-in for home between now and May he has a winner's medal in his grasp.

Horsfield was the fulcrum of a Halifax Town team that captured the GM Conference championship last season to propel the Shaymen back to the Football League fold after an absence of five years.

The burly, Barnsley-born battler bagged 30 goals in that Conference conquering term serving notice to rival Nationwide clubs that here was a talent to monitor.

Fortunately for Halifax Horsfield had already pledged himself to the Shaymen with an extension of his contract during that title term, so when interest firmed up the homely club were able to amass some much-needed revenue.

Fulham were arguably the most surprising of the posse of would-be buyers. But eight goals in the blue and white stripes this season persuaded the Cottagers to pay out £300,000 down followed by a further £50,000 on appearances.

The 25-year-old striker has not failed Keegan. Since going south in November he has inched to top-scorer status, edging ahead of £1.2million man Paul Peschisolido, the Canadian international, and £2million recruit Barry Hayles.

Horsfield's brace to see off Notts County a week ago, and then a further two in the midweek romp over Reading, took his season's tally to 16 in all competitions.

However, all in football has not been sweetness and light for the hard-working forward. His is a second-chance career after it initially threatened to chug into obscurity.

Scarborough's McCain Stadium was the first professional port of call for the teenage Horsfield back in the early 1990s.

However, for all his endeavour he was unable to make the red shirt his own. After just 12 appearances and one goal he dropped out of the Football League frame.

The semi-professional game in the UniBond League beckoned first with Guiseley, then with Witton Albion before he and Halifax forged a striking bond three seasons ago.

The 'Horse', who works like a Trojan in the front-line, is still fondly regarded at the Shay.

Just six weeks ago when York City slumped to a 4-2 defeat at Halifax in the Auto Windscreens Shield Horsfield was back at his former hunting-ground, where he was presented with a memento of his 30 Conference goals.

Now the Minstermen will be hoping Horsfield is not the recipient of yet more 'gifts' tomorrow when Fulham's man of the moment strives to prove his thoroughbred touch in front of goal.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.