Football / Non-League Notebook: Leworthy confirms his new standing

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The Independent Online
THERE were surely no prizes for guessing the identity of the scorer of England's winning goal in the semi-professional international against Wales at Cheltenham on Tuesday. David Leworthy's 55th- minute winner in a 2-1 victory was wholly in keeping with his remarkable season.

The former Tottenham Hotspur forward's 25 league goals for Farnborough Town in the current campaign make him the clear leader in the GM Vauxhall Conference goalscoring chart. With 12 matches remaining, he is likely to score more Conference goals this season than any player since Kim Casey hit 38 for Kidderminster Harriers six years ago.

Leworthy has scored 37 goals in all competitions for Farnborough in 39 appearances and last week took his total for the club to 50 in just 59 games. He reached his half- century with a hat-trick in nine minutes against Kidderminster, while his four goals in the FA Trophy have helped take Farnborough into the quarter-finals, in which they meet Witton Albion next week.

Now 30, Leworthy joined Farnborough from Reading a year ago, although this is not his first experience of the non-League game. After a false start with Portsmouth, for whom he made one appearance as a substitute in 1981, Leworthy made a name for himself as a goalscorer with Fareham Town.

Tottenham signed him eight years ago for what was then a non- League record fee of pounds 43,000, but in two seasons at White Hart Lane he made just 11 League appearances, scoring three goals. He then had spells with Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town and Reading, who decided last February that he was surplus to requirements.

Ted Pearce, the Farnborough manager, has a reputation for reviving the careers of former League players and Leworthy has not looked back since his arrival at Cherrywood Road.

His success has been achieved without the support of a regular partner in attack. Farnborough, moreover, have not enjoyed the best of seasons in the Conference. Their goals total of 53 is bettered only by Wycombe Wanderers' 65, but they share the worst goals against record (59) with Welling United. They are eight points clear of the relegation zone but have played more games than most of their rivals.

Leworthy was one of seven debutants for England on Tuesday. Wales took the lead through Bob Colville, but a penalty by Terry Robbins, Welling's player-manager, and Leworthy's goal gave England a deserved victory.

Despite the Football Association's efforts, England's fixture list has shrunk in recent seasons, although they have a match against the Finland Under-21 team at Woking on 14 April.

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