DANNY Forrest has revealed Joe Gaughan's contribution to Silsden's title bid stretches beyond his chart-topping goal-scoring feats.

Currently with 28 goals to his name, the Cobbydalers hitman has hit the target more than any other player in either division of the North West Counties League.

But Forrest, who brought the player back to Silsden last summer, says his influence in the dressing room has also been crucial.

The manager said: "He has been brilliant, not just what he is bringing in terms of his goals. He is a leader, he takes responsibility and he is passionate.

"The work he puts in during the week, it’s no fluke that goals are going in for him.

"He has had a positive impact on the dressing room. There are a lot of people who look up to him and I think he is bringing out the best in the likes of Chris Wademan."

Gaughan, who has scored an impressive four hat-tricks this season, started his non-league career with the Cobbydalers after developing as a youngster at Bradford City and then Rotherham United, for whom he made one first-team appearance against Grimsby.

He enjoyed a successful spell in New Zealand – including representing Kiwi FC in the Oceania Champions League preliminaries – before stints at Barnoldswick and Colne.

He scored 15 in goals in 19 appearances at Barlick last season but then took a five-month break from football.

Forrest believes playing back at the club closest to home has been ideal for the former Oakworth Junior.

"He is a quality player and has proven it at the level above," said the Silsden boss.

"Joe has fallen in and out of love with football over the last few years. He just needed to find a home.

"He knows what Silsden are about. He is well connected with the club and has got mates in the team. It’s been a great fit."

Proof that Gaughan's positive influence has rubbed off on others is the successful partnership up front with Wademan.

Out of the 24 league games Silsden have played, there have only been five in which at least one of the duo hasn't scored.

Like Gaughan, Wademan had a stint playing Down Under and has strong roots with the Cobbydalers.

Forrest said: "Wadey has been brilliant for us of late.

"We recently paired them up a little bit more and they work together well.

"Chris really looks up to Joe and has been around this club for years and years. He is embracing everything that’s happening at the minute and we are getting the best out of him. They are both doing really well."