How Nelson have outscored Manchester City

Peter Wright and Robert Grimes have been in the goals for Nelson

Peter Wright and Robert Grimes have been in the goals for Nelson

First published in Sport by

NOT many teams compare favourably to Manchester City in terms of goalscoring this year, but Nelson can claim just such an honour.

The Admirals have been in blistering form this season, and have scored 107 goals to City’s 106.

The Victoria Park club are flying high at the top of the North West Counties First Division, and striker Peter Wright says this season’s success comes as no surprise to him.

“At the start of the season we fully expected to get promoted, that’s why I came to the club,” he said.

“We’ve got some good players here, including four or five who have played a few divisions higher than this one.

“It is a great achievement to have scored so many goals and I think we were one of the first to get to 100 goals for the season, but with the quality of players we have it doesn’t surprise me that we’re up there.”

Nelson may not have international strikers or limitless financial wealth to call upon like City, but they have enjoyed quite a season so far under boss Mark Fell.

What’s the secret?

“The secret is not letting them in at the other end to be honest!” he said.

“We’ve got some very good attacking players and we were lucky enough to have Peter Wright join us in the summer. He has plenty of history of scoring goals at non-league level.

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“I knew him from my time at Chorley 10 years ago so we were able to use that link to bring him in and add to the couple of exceptional attacking players we already had.”

Wright is the Admirals’ top scorer with 21 goals so far, making him the team’s answer to Alvaro Negredo or Sergio Aguero, but which one would Wright say he was more like?

“If I had to compare myself to one of them, I’d have to say Aguero!” he said.

“When I came to the club I expected to score a goal a game and I’ve pretty much done that this season, and Aguero has done that at City this season so obviously I compare nicely to him in that way!

“Obviously it’s great to be compared to City as they are flying in front of goal at the moment.

“It generates good publicity and it helps to put the club on the map.

“But we are obviously worlds apart in terms of the level of football and the quality of opponents we’ve faced.”

The men from Eastlands have been lauded by pundits this season for their attractive style of football and Wright says Nelson have attracted similar plaudits for their own displays.

“For this level we play some great football,” he said.

“We like to get the ball down and play and that allows us to score plenty of goals.

“I think we have surprised a lot of teams this season with the way we try and pass the ball, we catch a lot of teams off guard early in games and I think that is why we manage to score plenty of goals.”

One thing City don’t have to worry about is losing players to clubs higher up the football ladder, something which Nelson know plenty about. Wright’s fellow striker Ritchie Allen departed for AFC Fylde last month, but his former strike partner says it has not affected the club too much.

“We have not directly replaced Ritchie but we have strengthened in other areas so we’ve been able to keep up our good form,” Wright said.

“Felly is always on the lookout for new players to come in and I try to help out when I can by trying to convince players I know to join the club, so we are actively recruiting all the time and always fishing around for new players.”

“It was a good deal for all sides, one that worked for us and worked for Ritchie as well,” Fell said of Allen’s exit.

“Ritchie’s a fantastic footballer and we couldn't stand in the way of him moving higher up the ladder.

“Replacing him was something we were considering.

“We looked at a couple of options as replacements for Ritchie but we couldn’t quite work something out.

“But right now we are not actively looking for another striker as we have got a lot of good attacking options still at the club.”

The Admirals have a seven-point lead at the top of the North West Counties First Division and the manager’s eyes are firmly on getting over the line.

“Promotion was our objective from the start as we want to climb the ladder as quickly as we can,” Fell said.

“It’s in our hands, which makes it better for us, and we know that if we do our bit and win our last 11 games, we’ll go up but we are taking it one game at a time.”

That is a sentiment Wright is keen to echo, ahead of this afternoon’s home game against Atherton Collieries.

“I think if we beat Atherton then it puts us in a good position to take them out of the equation and strengthen our claim to be champions,” he said.

“But equally, if we lose, there are a few teams that could eventually catch us so we can’t look too far ahead.”

Nelson v Man City: The stats

League games: Nelson 25 Man City 22.

League goals: Nelson 85 Man City 63.

Cup games: Nelson 8 Man City 13.

Cup goals: Nelson 22 Man City 43.

Total goals: Nelson 107 Man City 106.

Average goals per game: Nelson 3.24 Man City 3.03.

Total goals conceded: Nelson 59 Man City 35.

Total goal difference: Nelson +48 Man City +71.

Average points per game: Nelson 2.24 Man City 2.27.

Top goalscorers (total goals): Alvaro Negredo (Man City) 23, Sergio Aguero (Man City) 22, Peter Wright (Nelson) 21, Ritchie Allen (Nelson) 20, Edin Dzeko (Man City) 16, Robert Grimes (Nelson) 14.

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