Cranfield sets 20-goal target

SIX-SHOOTER Ben Cranfield has set himself a target of at least 20 league and cup goals for Felixstowe & Walton United this season.

Cranfield netted a double hat-trick for the Seasiders in the 8-0 rout of Team Bury last Saturday to take his total to nine in four pre-season friendlies, before drawing a blank in the 1-0 defeat against AFC Sudbury on Tuesday night.

The former Colchester United striker, who has re-joined Felixstowe this season after spending a year out of the game due to work commitments, is confident of reaching his target for the Ridgeons League Premier Division side, who kick-off their campaign at home to Wroxham tomorrow.

He said: “I scored 19 goals in all competitions when I was here previously, but my form was inconsistent due to missing some matches through work. I have always scored more than 20 goals wherever I have played apart from that season.”

Cranfield has certainly settled in well since his return to the club, and was quick to pay tribute to his new team mates.

“I think the squad is better now than it was then - players are here for the right reasons. There is more of a family atmosphere and we all train together.

“Jamie Cole’s work rate is phenomenal,” he said of his strike partner, who set up his first goal on Saturday with a delightful reverse pass.

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“As a striker, no matter what level you are playing, you are only as good as the service you get - you can’t score goals without the assists,” added Cranfield, who admitted his third goal, which sailed into the top far corner of the net, was not intentional.

“That was meant to be a cross – I would never claim that I meant it!”

That goal completed the perfect hat-trick - left foot, header, right foot - in just eight minutes, and he added a superbly-taken fourth, killing a long pass and then lobbing the keeper from 30 yards, before the interval. He then scored twice more after the break – another lob and a stooping header – before being substituted.

Cranfield said that he was benefiting from the freedom he has been given in pre-season.

“Coach Glenn Snell is a striker himself, and is allowing us to play with more freedom – he doesn’t restrict us in any way – he just wants us to be creative.

“I am enjoying playing again and as long as I score more than 20 goals this season I will be happy,” he added.