WORKSOP Town’s longest serving player returned to the starting line-up on Saturday after a long layoff, and capped his comeback with a goal.
Luke Shiels was restored to the heart of the Tigers defence, following a spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury and the form of fellow defenders Adie Hawes and Kern Miller.
With Hawes struggling through illness, Saturday’s game against Ashton was Shiels’ first league start since 4th September, and gave him his 122nd appearance for the club.
The 23-year-old was delighted to get back into Simon Clark’s side.
He told the Guardian: “It’s been much longer than I thought it was going to be, but I just had to be patient until I got my chance.”
“Hopefully I took it with my performance.”
Shiels nodded home in the second half for his first goal of the season, his eighth as a Tiger, and the centre-half admits he wants to hit the net with more regularity this season.
“I should be scoring quite a few goals from corners and free-kicks, but I’ve seemed to glance a few and put them wide. That one I connected really well, it was a good ball in to be fair, I couldn’t really miss.”
The man bought for an undisclosed fee from Hucknall, for what was a Worksop Town club record, believes the current crop of Tigers have gelled as well as any team he’s played in and says he’s content with their position in the league heading into Christmas.
He said: “At the start of the season we’d definitely have taken sixth, with games in hand, at Christmas.”
“We went through a bit of a bad patch at the start of the season, but the gaffer has brought in a couple of lads and everyone has responded.”
“It’s a great set of lads, best set of lads I’ve been in for a while, everyone gets on.”
“We’re playing well at the moment, hopefully we’ll carry on this form.”
Tigers visit Witton Albion on Saturday, before a Boxing Day clash at Sandy Lane against Grantham Town (3pm).