ANDY Procter is on the hunt for an elusive goal - and it would be perfect if it came tomorrow (Sat) at Peterborough.
While most people's eyes will be on former Grays striker Aaron McLean, who has signed for Posh this week, the midfielder is hoping it might just be his turn to sneak in and grab a League Two goal.
"I would love to score," said the 23-year-old, who last fired home a league goal in April 2004. "The gaffer keeps having a joke about whether me or Leam Richardson will score first as we are the only ones who haven't come anywhere near. Even Robbie Williams has scored!
"It is not something which is playing on my mind but it is something I would like to rectify!"
Reds boss John Coleman, who is on a striker search, will not enjoy coming up against long term target McLean who scored 13 Conference goals this season which led to the London Road club snapping him up initially on loan with a view to a permanent deal.
"He was out of our league," said Coleman. "It is reported as a six figure fee in January and we couldn't have matched that."
The Reds chief was also unhappy to miss out on Leyton Orient front man Lee Steele who has joined Chester.
"I was disappointed as I thought I had got Lee but you have got to get on with it and I have still got a couple of other targets."
And Coleman has had to intensify his striker search as he has been hit with the news this week that Benin frontman Rommy Boco will be sidelined for a month with a back injury which he needs to rest to fully recover.
However, if the Reds chief can't sign a hitman, he may continue to push Ian Craney up front after the midfielder played alongside Paul Mullin in Tuesday's 4-2 penalty shoot-out win over League One side Blackpool in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
"I thought Ian did well up front," added Coleman. "He was bright throughout the game and I was pleased for him to get his goal."
Craney scored in normal time as the tie finished 4-4 and midfielder Procter then held his nerve to score one of the penalties.
"I actually don't mind taking them," said Procter. "I am surprised I have been trusted with the responsibility - I guess I will be from now on until I miss!"
But the Blackburn-born midfielder admits he is just delighted to be playing after he missed most of last season with a horrific knee injury.
He has battled back, is now holding down a regular first team place and is enjoying his first taste of the Football League despite the Reds losing their last two league games and slipping to 13th place.
"I am loving it at the moment," he said. "It is nice, after last season, to be actually playing and giving things a go. I know we are going through a bit of a blip but we have competed well and the only team who have really stood out have been Lincoln.
"I do like playing alongside Ian (Craney) although we have been giving him some stick as, in the Opta stats, he has had the most shots on goal and the most shots off target! But he has scored some great goals - some really good free kicks - and he is doing well."
Procter says the club are still getting used to the absence of tricky winger Gary Roberts who has gone on loan to Ipswich.
"It was always a case of when he would go rather than if with Gary. He has so much ability. I saw him play for Ipswich against Luton on Sky on Sunday and he certainly doesn't look out of place.
"I noticed he was one of the first to celebrate with the goals - he likes to get himself on camera!
"But Gary moving shows there are people out there watching and that they are willing to take a chance on players in our league, especially if the team is going well. My job is just to keep playing well.
"We have dropped down the league recently but a couple of wins and we can shoot back up there. Saying that, a couple of defeats and we can drop further down and so we have got to make sure we keep picking points up."
Stanley have only won once on their travels this season and they will be hoping defender Michael Welch overcomes a late fitness test after coming off on Tuesday.
- STANLEY reserves play Preston at home on Wednesday (Ko 2pm) but check with the club first.