Dinnington hit man has new target in sight

Dinnington Town FC v Grimsby Borough.  Liam Cartledge is congratulated by Matt Smith after scoring a penalty to make the score 2-1 to Dinnington Town  (w120428-4j)
Dinnington Town FC v Grimsby Borough. Liam Cartledge is congratulated by Matt Smith after scoring a penalty to make the score 2-1 to Dinnington Town (w120428-4j)

DINNINGTON Town hit man Liam Cartledge is setting his sights on a new landmark, after notching up 250 goals for the club.

The 35-year-old accountant hit his 249th and 250th goals in the 8-0 demolition of Appleby Frodingham last week.

Speaking to the Guardian this week he paid tribute to his manager Steve Toyne and team-mates for helping him reach an impressive non league milestone.

“I was very pleased, very proud to get the 250th,” he said.

“My career since 2000 has pretty much been at Dinnington Town, I played in their third ever game and I’ve stayed mostly because of Steve and the likes of Andy Sykes and Simon Mirfin.”

“It’s all about enjoyment really. We don’t have paid players, but I’d rather play for Dinnington for nothing, it’s a great club to play for.”

Cartledge was fully aware of the approaching landmark before last week’s game, and has already turned his attention to a new ambition.

“I’m a bit of a geek, I know exactly how many games I’ve played and how many goals I’ve scored. I knew I was on 248 at the end of last season.”

“I missed the first few weeks of this season and went five games without a goal until I got two last Wednesday, which was my 381st game.”

“I got a goal in the first half and told Steve ‘don’t take me off whatever you do’, and I got the 250th just before he subbed me.”

“Now I want to go on and play 400 games, like Sykesy has, that’s a fantastic achievement. I should get there around Christmas hopefully.”

“I’d be more than happy with that as a career.”

The Northern Counties striker has fond memories of hitting the net in the colours of Dinnington, and can recall his other notable goals.

He told the Guardian: “I got my 50th against Bottestford Town, I got four that day I think.”

“My 100th was in the season when I scored 56 and my 200th was in my 200th game against Emley – since then I’ve not been as prolific.”

“In terms of goals I was pleased with, I remember hitting a volley with my right foot against Sheffield Wednesday in pre-season, I enjoyed that one.”

While his team-mates are probably glad of his ability to convert chances, Cartledge comes in for good natured banter for the manner in which he scores most of his goals.

“The lads give me a bit of stick and say I only score tap-ins and penalties, to be honest I’ve not scored many spectacular ones.”

“I’ve played with some very good players, no one scores a goal on their own, I just get on the end of things.”

“It’s just about being in the right place at the right time.”

Although he’s unlikely to go on and score another 250 for Dinnington, Cartledge isn’t ready to hang up his boots just yet.

“I still play Sunday football and keep myself fit.”

“I will be playing as long as Steve wants me, I’m just taking it a season at a time.”

“You’re a long time retired and once it’s gone it’s gone,” he added.

On Saturday Cartledge and Town take on Albion Sports at Phoenix Park, before Tuesday’s visit to Rossington Main.