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Top Field Is Home From Home For Ace Frendo



IT TAKES a special goalscorer to keep a man as prolific as Altrincham striker Damian Reeves away from the Pro Direct Golden Boot award for the top three levels of Non-League football.

Pro-DirectBut hot-shot John Frendo kept Hitchin Town in the Southern League’s Premier Division almost single-handedly this year  – becoming the top scorer at Top Field for the third season in a row.

Last term, Reeves managed 44 goals for Conference North Alty but lost out to Wealdstone’s Richard Jolly, who scored  45, in The NLP’s National Strike Force table.

This time around Reeves’ 41-goal haul wasn’t enough to see off the threat of prolific striker Frendo, who netted 42 times  in league, FA Cup and FA Trophy action for Hitchin.

With a couple more goals in county and league cup competitions – which do not count towards this award – the  28-year-old finished the season with 44 goals in 48 games.

John Frendo, left, celebrates another Hitchin strike.

John Frendo, left, celebrates another Hitchin strike.

His achievement is more remarkable for the fact that he missed six matches through suspension – including the first four  of the season due to a punishment hanging over from a red card towards the end of 2011-12.

And the Hertfordshire club spent most of the campaign embroiled in a relegation battle. Frendo scored in eight  consecutive games at one stage, falling one short of a club record, and included five hat-tricks in his collection.

His treble at local rivals Bedford Town on the final day of the season took his Hitchin career total to 103 goals in 123  appearances since signing from Ware early in 2010-11.

Out of contract this summer and with manager Carl ‘Charlie’ Williams having resigned last month, he admits he might not be around to add to his total – and the players’ player, manager’s player and supporters’ player of the year awards he collected last week – in 2013-14.

John Frendo receives his Golden Boot trophy from NLP editor-in-chief, David Emery.

John Frendo receives his Golden Boot trophy from NLP editor-in-chief, David Emery.

The ex-Stevenage Borough, Hendon, Harlow Town and Cambridge City striker told The NLP: “The management, the players and the fans at Hitchin have always been supportive of me and I wouldn’t have scored so many goals without the boys supplying me the chances.

“I’ve had a brilliant three years and Top Field’s become a second home to me.

“With Charlie leaving, it might be the right time to see if the chance is there to prove myself at a higher level of football.

“I get on great with the new manager Mark Burke, but I’m keeping my options open at the moment.

“I don’t want to have any regrets when I hang my boots up.”

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