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Matthew Aitken v Nathan Austin: League Two title tussle is goals battle between Forfar and Kelty Hearts strikers

Matthew Aitken and Nathan Austin are likely to top the League Two scoring charts this term
Matthew Aitken and Nathan Austin are likely to top the League Two scoring charts this term

This is the tale of two strikers likely to play a pivotal role in the destination of the League Two title – Matthew Aitken and Nathan Austin.

At 24, Forfar striker Aitken has returned to Station Park having reinvented himself as a goal-grabber.

He was second top scorer in League Two for a struggling Albion Rovers side and has netted in each of his last three games.

Austin, 27, has been a proven goalscorer at every club he’s been at – East Fife, Inverness and Falkirk.

He finished a staggering 20 goals ahead of the second top Lowland League scorer in 2019-20, with 37 goals in 25 games.

And while injury has confined him to the bench, he already has six goals in five outings.

Both bring so much to their teams.

They are the focal point for all attacks and have an instinctive eye for goals.

And Courer Sport was at Station Park to run the rule over Aitken and Austin as both netted in Saturday’s table-topping tussle between Forfar and Kelty Hearts:

Matthew Aitken: The workhorse scorer

Matthew Aitken will challenge Nathan Austin in the scoring charts this term

When defenders face Aitken, they know they have been in a game.

He pulled the Kelty backline all over the pitch and forced keeper Darren Jamieson into conceding a penalty.

A cool customer in front of goal, Aitken duly converted to put his side 1-0 up.

He is already on course for his target to breach double figures in the league.

“That’s why I took him back,” said Forfar boss Gary Irvine.

“He went away from the club to join Albion Rovers and got himself into the top goalscoring charts.

“I was quick to make contact as I started to piece things together in pre-season.

“I knew he was going to add goals to the squad. I’m delighted that he’s starting to do that now.

“As a player and professional, you always have to set yourself targets.

“The fact that he’s stepping up now, doing his work and getting goals is good.”

Aitken’s penalty was initially cancelled out by an Austin header before Forfar scored one of best breakway goals you’ll see this season.

 

A poorly struck Kallum Higginbotham effort was charged down by the home defence with PJ Crossan and Craig Slater combining to set up Craig Thomson.

Thomson had run almost 80 yards to get on the end of the ball and slot home.

But Austin again struck to underline just how potent he will be in League Two this term.

Austin: The ultimate poacher

Nathan Austin will be aiming to top the scoring charts ahead of Matthew Aitken

Kelty are blessed with creative flair and are unlikely to fail to score in many games.

However, every team needs a penalty box striker and Austin is the ultimate poacher.

He already has six to his name.

Put simply, if Aitken finishes above Austin in the scoring charts then Forfar will be on course for the league.

“We need a number nine,” said Kelty Hearts boss Kevin Thomson.

“We’ve got a lot of quality in the midfield and front three.

“But we need someone who is selfish and gets in between the sticks. That’s what Fash (Nathan Austin) brings to the party.

“That’s him played 25 minutes against East Fife and score two goals.

“He played 65 minutes against East Fife and scored two goals and 80 against Forfar to score two.

“Big Fash does what it says on the tin – he scores goals.”

Forfar 2 Kelty Hearts 2: Nathan Austin double denies Angus club stunning win over League Two title favourites

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