HAVING grown up watching Rodney Rowe hit the back of the net, former York City academy striker Carl Stewart is now dreaming of getting on the scoresheet at Bootham Crescent himself.

Stewart, 27, has already hit the target against the Minstermen after opening his account for North Ferriby with the consolation strike in Boxing Day’s 4-1 home defeat.

The Acomb-born forward is now planning to put his home-town club to the sword at a ground where he used to watch Rowe find the target during the late-1990s, as Ferriby travel to North Yorkshire on New Year's Day.

Stewart, who has played for the likes of Pickering Town, Tadcaster Albion, Scarborough Athletic and Bridlington in the past, said: “I was on York’s books when I was about 14 with (former youth coach) Gary Naylor.

“It feels like a long time ago now and I also used to go and watch them with my dad. Rodney Rowe was playing at the time but, when I started playing, it was harder to get to games.

“But it felt good to get my first goal against them for Ferriby, because I should have got one earlier in the game and against Curzon Ashton on my debut but, hopefully, I can kick on now and see what I can do on New Year’s Day.”

Stewart could have had a hat-trick against the Minstermen with mistakes by Jonny Burn, Hamza Bencherif and Sean McAllister presenting him with one-on-one opportunities – the last of which he took.

Admitting that he was pleasantly shocked by the ease of those chances, Stewart added: “I was surprised. I didn’t think it would be as easy as it was, but it was alright.”

Ahead of Monday’s rematch, the Ferriby forward went on to insist that the bottom-of-the-table Humberside outfit also took encouragement from their performance against the tenth-placed Minstermen, despite the final outcome.

“We were doing alright and, if I had put that great chance away to make it 1-1, I think it would have been a different game,” he reasoned. “After their quick three goals, we then got back into the game with a goal and Adam Bolder also had a good chance, but it wasn’t meant to be after (Jon) Parkin did what he does and stuck another one away.

“He made a massive difference in the game. He took his chances well and that’s why they pay him what they do, but we also made defensive mistakes where we could have done better.

“We had high expectations going into the game and want to put things right now at York.”

Stewart’s efforts will be cheered on, meanwhile, by a sizeable contingent of family and friends.

“A few came to the game on Boxing Day, but there will be more at Bootham Crescent,” he grinned.

Having done the rounds with North Yorkshire’s semi-professional clubs and had other spells with the likes of Frickley Athletic, Shaw Lane and Ossett Town, Stewart is now eager to prove his worth at National League North level after teaming up with his former Scarborough coach Chris Bolder.

“I was at Goole and Bolds gave me a ring and asked if I fancied it,” Stewart said of the December switch. “I told him I couldn’t turn the chance down and I need to make a go of it now.

“Bolds has given me this opportunity and, hopefully, I can get some goals and then see what happens at the end of the season. Hopefully, I can stay in this league or maybe progress.”