BROWNE ON THE BALL: The Newsh may not be on fire, but he looks to be warming up

Marc Newsham.
Marc Newsham.

He scored in the UniBond Premier play-off final as Boston United won promotion back to the Conference North.

He swivelled on the turn to grab that last-gasp winner at Bishop’s Stortford.

From the tightest of angles he prodded home as the Pilgrims somehow recorded a famous 3-2 victory over that fantastic Alfreton side of 2010-11.

And let’s not forget the finish at Southport in the FA Trophy, last season’s goal in the memorable 4-1 victory at Stockport County, a hat-trick in the 6-0 thrashing of Gainsborough Trinity and a strike in the UniBond Premier League Cup final against Retford.

Marc Newsham’s goals aren’t always the most spectacular - but he’s a player you can count on no matter how important the occasion.

On paper, Saturday’s finish against Brackley is hardly one of the forward’s most vital contributions over the past six years.

But for the player, maybe also the club and its supporters, Newsham’s 108th goal for United is among the most rewarding.

Not just because it earned a point, but most importantly because it marked the player’s return to the scoresheet following a 10-month period of uncertainty.

Tendonitis of the knee has seen the striker make just one start in the club’s last 32 matches, and there remained that nagging doubt as to whether the prolific goalscorer would ever recreate his previous form.

But that equaliser against Brackley hinted that there is still plenty of life left in the fox in the box.

Yes, he may still be short on match fitness, but Newsham proved he still has that ability to read the game quicker than many of those around him, with that cunning awareness which allows him to get into the right places at the right times.

The Newsh is not quite on fire, but he looks to be warming up nicely.

When Newsham reached that 100-goal milestone for Boston United last December, I certainly expected him to have added more than eight further goals to his tally almost 12 months later.

But injury has taken its toll and Saturday’s finish was the player’s first since his strike at Histon on February 4.

However, this weekend’s goal means Newsham has now scored in every one of his six seasons at the Jakemans Stadium.

And this Saturday’s FA Trophy visit to North Ferriby United could offer him the chance to keep another record going.

Since arriving at the Jakemans Stadium, Newsham has scored in the Trophy every season.

Quorn, Gainsborough, Workington, Skelmersdale and Southport have all picked the ball out of the net as the forward wheels away in celebration.

Could he score his second of the season this weekend?

If so he will still be some way off that 20-goal mark which ensures his contract will be extended into next season.

But if Newsham continues to regain his goalscoring touch, the club would be crazy not to discuss keeping the forward on after this year’s deal expires.

A fully fit athlete is pretty easy to find, a footballing mind as sharp as Marc Newsham’s remains rare.