Early evidence suggests Moneyfields’ gamble on Ryan Pennery looks like paying dividends.
Manager Dave Carter has been delighted with the way the young striker has made the step up into Southern League football.
He has scored six goals in five league games and proved a potent threat to opposition defences.
Carter decided to take a punt on Pennery after he scored 48 goals last season for Baffins Milton Rovers.
Those goals were scored in Wessex League division one – two levels below where he is operating now.
There was a big question mark over whether he could be just as effective at a higher level.
Pennery has already gone a long way to answering those questions and has taken the demands of the higher level in his stride.
‘Ryan has carried on where he left off with Baffins last season,’ said Carter.
‘If he can get half the number of goals he scored for them this season it will be fantastic.
‘He has taken the step up to Southern League football like a duck to water.
‘Giving him the chance was a bit of a gamble but I just looked at his goalscoring record. There isn’t a lot to him – he only weighs two-stone wet!
‘But he has the old style goalscorer touch about him.
‘He has the knack of getting himself in the right place at the right time to put the ball in the net.
‘Anything in and around the six-yard area he finishes.
‘He is helped by a good touch and skill on the ball.’
Pennery was already at Moneyfields when Carter arrived but wasn’t getting into their Wessex League premier division squad.
Before Carter got to know him, the striker took himself off to Baffins in search of regular first-team games.
‘Having a season at Baffins in men’s football did Ryan the world of good,’ added Carter.
‘It gave him increased confidence to come back and do what he is doing.
‘His movement is good and he is being helped by having experienced players around him.
‘The likes of Steve Hutchings, Dan Wooden and Lewis Fennemore have all helped him.’
Pennery’s goals have played a big part in helping Moneyfields to a successful start in the Southern League east division.
Prior to yesterday’s game with Thame United, they were the only unbeaten team remaining and topped the scoring charts with 15 goals from five games.
On Tuesday, Moneys turn host powerful Wessex League outfit Sholing Sports in the Hampshire Senior Cup.
Carter’s team then resume their push in the league with a home game against lowly Chalfont St Peter.