Ashington CFC striker Marc Walton cited a mid-season calf injury as the main reason why he narrowly failed in his bid to reach a personal goals target.
Walton, on Newcastle United’s books earlier in his career, had set himself a target of 40 but ended up one short during the season just ended.
However, the 26-year-old, who works for the traffic signals department at Newcastle City Council, reckons he would have comfortably reached the mark had he not been sidelined during the campaign.
“I’m happy with my haul but disappointed at just missing out,” he said.
“I scored with a penalty in the original game against Norton & Stockton which was abandoned due to fog at half-time – but in the rematch last week I just could not get that elusive goal.
“However, technically, if you add the one which was wiped out, then I still hit the 40!”
Walton is convinced the injury suffered at the turn of the year proved to be the key stumbling block.
He added: “I was forced to miss seven games due to a pull in my calf and if I hadn’t missed them, I’m sure I would have reached 40 for the season comfortably.
“Even when I wanted one in the last game at Norton, I had no luck as I suffered a back injury in the first five minutes, and although the boss (Gary Middleton) was going to take me off, I played for the whole game and had one disallowed.”
Walton, who has already set himself the same target for next term, wants to see the Colliers push on next season following the success achieved in the last campaign.
He said: “I was over the moon when we lifted the Northumberland Senior Cup recently, but some of our home performances were disappointing otherwise we could have been looking to end in the top five.
“Hopefully next year, we can go further in the FA Carlsberg Vase, win another cup and aim to finish higher in the league table.”
Walton’s more immediate target is to be fit for Blakelaw Social Club as they meet Burradon and New Fordley in the NFA County Cup Final at the Blue Flames ground on Sunday.
He added: “I’ve seen a physio who has said that my back injury has been caused by playing on the hard pitches, as well as the number of games involved, but hopefully with rest, I should be okay.”