Prolific Ramsgate striker Joe Taylor is well on course for his best-ever season - but he’s setting no targets.
Taylor scored four times in Rams’ 9-1 win over Phoenix Sports on Saturday, taking his tally to 23 by mid-November.
It’s a superb return for a player who’s driven by a desire to score goals.
He hit 37 for Isthmian Premier Lewes last season and few would bet against him beating that.
Ramsgate are three points clear in Isthmian South East and host Hythe tomorrow tonight (7.45pm).
“It’s going well,” said Taylor, 32. “I haven’t set any goals, I just want to keep myself fit.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for a long time.
“I’ve played with a couple of niggles but I’m injury-free and I just want to carry on the way I am.
“If I keep picking up goals here and there I’ll be near the 40 mark, which is something I haven’t done before, but I’m not setting any targets for the end of the season.
“We’re still very young in the league campaign, aren’t we?
“To have 23 by the middle of November is crazy but let’s just see where it takes me.”
Twenty goals used to be the benchmark for a quality striker but today’s players are blowing that figure out of the water.
Taylor said: “I remember when I was first playing for Ramsgate and Jim Ward said to me, ‘Joe, you’re on the bench, Ian Pulman’s starting, he’ll get me 15-20 goals every year, without fail’. I used to be thinking, ‘I wish I could be Ian Pulman’.
“I don’t know why it’s changed so much.
“Maybe players are playing more games and they’re much fitter these days and so strikers are scoring more consistently.
“I don’t know but I’ve scored 30 most seasons I’ve played in the last eight or nine years, so I am fairly consistent.
“It just seems normal to me now but when you think about it, it’s good there’s more goals and more excitement for fans.
“We had nearly a thousand at the weekend and they got treated to 10 goals, so it keeps them coming back.”
Taylor scored twice in either half against struggling Phoenix, with Benny Bioletti (2), Medy Elito, Craig Stone and Alfie Paxman also on target for the league leaders.
There were still 10 minutes remaining when Taylor scored his fourth - and he wanted more.
It was a difficult afternoon for the visitors but Rams had a job to do.
“I don’t feel sorry for anyone in that situation,” said Taylor.
“The week before we played Beckenham, who are bottom, and beat them 1-0.
“It was a really tough game and we struggled - it was our worst performance of the season.
“On Saturday, we’ve played Phoenix Sports, who are second-bottom, and we approached it with a much better attitude.
“You’re just trying to keep the attacking football flowing, you’re not thinking about the other team.
“When I was on four goals, I wanted five - I had a double hat-trick in my mind.
“I had a chat with Seb Tidey, our coach, before the game because I’d been a bit frustrated in the last few games.
“I’d scored one in three, which was a bit of a drought for me, and he said, ‘Clear your mind, work hard and play with the right head’.
“It was good advice and I went out there and applied myself properly.
“I’ve always got that drive to score goals and it all just clicked on Saturday.
“I had more shots than any other game, I was hungry and the team were like that, too, with so many good forward passes.
“That was something we’d worked on in training.
“Ben (Smith, manager) said he just wanted us to go forward because although we were winning games and controlling games, we weren’t attacking as much as he’d like.
“He got what he wished for on Saturday. Nine-one was a fair reflection and it should have been more.”