Ahead of Winsford United's FA Vase second qualifying round clash with Gresley Rovers, Eithan Boulter-Ashcroft reflects on the season so far with Blues striker Joe Duckworth...

JOE Duckworth is currently the top goal scorer in the North West Counties League.

With his side having fallen to defeat on Tuesday night against Vauxhall Motors, Winsford dropped to 15th in a very tight Premier Division table.

A win for Lee Duckworth’s side could have seen Winsford rise to as high as third, but Joe spoke about the team’s downfall so far this season.

“Our inconsistent performances haven’t helped," he said.

"However, the team’s performance has been there in most fixtures this season.

"I feel as a group we need to be more solid defensively as a unit. We have the highest goals per game ratio, for both goals scored and conceded, and this is something the team needs to sort out and not just individuals."

So far this season Winsford have won four of their 11 games played, losing five and drawing two.

It is not the start to the league campaign the side wanted, but the aim in the off-season was to be competing towards the top of the league and that hasn’t changed.

With only five points separating Winsford in 15th and Skelmersdale United in second, Joe believes if Winsford can pick up back-to-back wins in their next two league games against Barnoldswick Town and Wythenshawe Town – both at the Barton Stadium, the Blues will be back competing at the top of the league table.

“The league is wide open this year and with two sides going up, a good run of form could put us in with a chance come the end of the season," he said.

"However, we know we need to restart our good form sooner rather than later, and that starts in our next game against Gresley Rovers in the FA Vase.”

There have been plenty of positives for this young Winsford side.

They are still in the FA Vase, the League Cup and are still within reach of the promotion places.

But there are parts of the game the side need to work on to continue to progress in all competitions.

“The 11 that are on the pitch need to be more solid and harder to break down," said Joe.

"We have been in winning positions far too many times and thrown it away this season.

"An example that comes to mind is our trip to Lower Breck last weekend.

"We were 3-2 up with five minutes remaining and we end up losing the game from a sloppy set piece and a penalty, because we were not fully focused and we think we have won the game.

"If we cut out these little mistakes, I am sure we will compete in every game.

"We are an attacking side and I enjoy that, but sometimes we need to shut up shop, and although it isn’t a great watch for the fans, the main thing is to get the points, that is what it ultimately comes down too."

It has been an excellent start personally for the Blues striker.

Leading the way at the top of the goalscoring table in the North West Counties league with 11 goals in as many games and five man-of-the-match awards sees Joe not just on the scoresheet but a player who creates a lot of goals.

The Joe Duckworth and Danny Boden strike partnership has caused many defences problems this season.

There is a hunger from 19-year-old Joe to add more to his tally but to also provide more for his teammates.

“I believe I have done well so far," he said.

"Of course I could always be doing better and be more consistent, but I am in the side to score and create goals and I feel I am doing that at the moment.

"Hopefully I contribute to the side enough for the management to keep selecting me.

"I will keep working away off the pitch on other aspects of my game, and hopefully continue to improve as the season progresses with Winsford.

"My aim personally will be to continue to score and create goals, as a team our aim will be to have a good run in the FA Vase and hopefully be in the top five and within touching distance of the top spots come Christmas, and then go from there into the second half of the season."