As the season draws to a close, there’s one man who is hoping the current campaign never meets its end.
Newport County’s scoring sensation Dom Telford has played out the season of his life and his only desire is that he can keep seeing the net ripple into next term.
The striker, who joined the Exiles in January 2021 from Plymouth Argyle, is enjoying his most prolific season yet. Telford has 25 strikes to his name so far and looks on course to get his hands on the Golden Boot.
“I’ve always backed my ability – that’s never changed,” he affirmed. “I want to increase my numbers every year, but sometimes it doesn’t always work like that. This year, I’ve been able to help the team and hit the sort of numbers I’ve always known I’ve been capable of.”
Around eight months ago, the landscape looked very different for the Sky Bet League Two’s leading marksman. He was informed he should explore his options elsewhere by former boss Michael Flynn, with his time in South Wales seemingly coming to a close.
That was until the arrival of new manager James Rowberry in October, who brought the forward back into the fold.
“At the start of the season, I was completely out of favour, so 20 goals wasn't my benchmark or my target,” Telford recalled. “I was taking it day-by-day, not really knowing what my future held.
“The big thing was having the new manager come in. He backed me, he believed in me and he trusted me. Then it was just up to me to make sure that I put the work in and score the goals.”
Telford equalled a 38-year-old record held by former Liverpool frontman John Aldridge, who became the last player to hit the 20-goal mark for Newport in 1983/84, earlier in the season.
The Exiles ace’s brace in a 2-1 victory over Barrow saw him tick off the milestone, bagging 22 goals in 19 games across a four-month stretch that saw Rowberry’s side put themselves in contention for a Play-Off place for a while.
“It’s one of them where you just want to ride the wave,” he smiled. “I certainly relished it and enjoyed every moment. Even when I’m not scoring, it’s been an enjoyable year. I’ve enjoyed all the ups and downs that have come with it.”
And it was during that rich vein of form when the Burnley-born forward notched his first senior hat-trick to sink Stevenage in a 5-0 drubbing.
“Getting my first hat-trick was something I’ve dreamt of for a while," he admitted. "It’s come a little bit later than I would’ve hoped, but to get that in the bag was special.”
And Telford had cause for celebration at Sunday's EFL Awards, with the 25-year-old featuring in the League Two Team of the Season and being shortlisted for the division's Player of the Season, narrowly missing out on the prize to Forest Green Rovers' Kane Wilson.
With the final day left to play, the County talisman has time to further boost his scoring tally and make an already memorable season even better.