Floodgates open for Lowestoft hot-shot Francis
Jonathan RedheadLowestoft Town hot-shot Joe Francis admits he has no idea why he cannot stop scoring for his new club. Since signing for the Ryman League Division One North leaders in December, the pacy left-winger has made four starts and one substitute appearance and bagged himself an impressive haul of eight goals, including three strikes direct from free-kicks.Jonathan Redhead
Lowestoft Town hot-shot Joe Francis admits he has no idea why he cannot stop scoring for his new club.
Since signing for the Ryman League Division One North leaders in December, the pacy left-winger has made four starts and one substitute appearance and bagged himself an impressive haul of eight goals, including three strikes direct from free-kicks.
It's a marked improvement for the former King's Lynn man who had failed to score this season for his previous club, Corby. But like the Blues, Francis is thriving in front of goal - even if he cannot quite figure out why.
'I don't know what's wrong!' Francis admitted. 'I couldn't score any for Corby and then I come here and I can't stop scoring.
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'I don't practice free-kicks much at all. I heard that Smudger (Adam Smith) had been taking free-kicks and I'd taken a few when I was at King's Lynn and just thought I'd try and bully my way on them. I've done that and so far it's coming off.'
Francis' latest dead ball strike came in Tuesday night's 3-0 victory over bottom of the table Harlow Town which saw the Blues move 12 points clear at the top of the table.
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And the 22-year-old, who signed a two and a half year deal with the Crown Meadow outfit, believes Town are perfectly placed to claim the league title and then aim even higher next season.
'Everything here is geared to go forward and I'm glad to be a part of that,' he said. 'I've signed a two and a half year deal and if didn't think the club was going to go forwards, I wouldn't have signed it; simple as.
'They've shown me the plans of how they want to do things. They're very strict with their budgets, which is what I like, so I'm pretty sure they won't do what King's Lynn have done and overspend. 'They stick to their budgets.
'I didn't come here to play this level. I came here to play the level above, and then the next level above that. I think with the squad we've got now is more than capable of doing big things in the next league.
'Coming here I've taken quite a big drop in money, but it's a lot closer to home and the most important thing for me is I'm enjoying my football again.'
The Blues head to Maldon to face Heybridge Swifts tomorrow and Francis says there is no danger the management trio of Ady Gallagher, Micky Chapman and Craig Fleming will allow the squad to become complacent despite their big advantage at the top of the table.
'We've got great strength and depth when everyone's fit and we've got a big squad and that's what you need to win leagues,' he said.
'Hopefully, if we keep going like we are, we should be able to wrap this league up. We can't take our foot off the gas, but Ady, Chappo and Flem don't let it rest.
'They're on our case all the time and that's what we need. It's so easy for the entire squad to think 'we've won the league, job done'.
'We're so many points clear now, but they're on our case every week without fail with the same thing drilled into us, but that's what we need. It's all good.'
Francis will aim to keep his goalscoring run going at Heybridge, despite injuring his leg and coming off after only 55 minutes on Tuesday.
'It's ok, I felt myself get cramp and it just tightened up,' he said.
'It wouldn't loosen up so I thought rather than keep playing on it and maybe injure myself properly, just stop and hopefully get myself right for Saturday.'