GARY Higdon’s remarkable record suggests he loves to score goals – but the Melksham Town hitman will be happy for one of his teammates to grab the limelight on Saturday if it means the club books its place in the last four of the FA Vase.

Having reached the 250-goal milestone in just his 334th game for his hometown club last week, the long-serving striker now has his sights set on firing Melksham even further into uncharted territory in the prestigious national competition.

Quarter-final opponents Thatcham Town stand in their way and captain Higdon is desperate to add to his impressive tally in front of what is sure to be another packed house at the Oakfields Stadium.

“I was told I was a couple away before the last Vase game against Tring and then I sort of forgot about it until I actually got to 250 in the game against Longwell Green,” said Higdon. “It was quite a shock to hear it was that many.

“The manager asked if I wanted to sit it out because the Thatcham manager was watching and he didn’t want to show his hand too much but I always want to play and score goals.

“I didn’t score against Tring but helped set up the two we did score. Had the one that hit the bar in the second half gone in then it would have been the icing on the cake, but in the end it didn’t matter.

“While it would be great to get on the scoresheet in the big games, the result is all that counts and if we nick a 1-0 against Thatcham and somebody else scores then of course I’ll be happy.”

The 30-year-old fire alarm engineer has seen many changes during a long association with Melksham, having made his debut after progressing from the U18s side and then returning to the fold under former boss Adam Young seven seasons ago.

Dave Thompson and Mike Perrott have been the only other mainstays during a period that has seen ambitious Melksham lift the Toolstation League title and move from their former Conigre home to a new facility that is the envy of their rivals across the region.

Higdon said: “With the ambition the club has to move forward, the squad has been strengthened but it’s nice to still be there up front.

“Other forwards like Sam Jordan and Tyler Sibbick have been brought in over the last couple of seasons. They have been top strikers in this league with their former clubs but it’s a confidence boost for me to have kept my place.”

The club’s profile has soared during their best-ever Vase run and, as a town resident, it is a factor Higdon has noticed away from the pitch.

“I’ve got a nine-year-old who plays for the club’s U10s and those players are now aspiring to be part of the first team one day and we are the ones they are looking up to,” he said.

“And people are asking me about the next round when I’m around town and are definitely becoming more aware of Melksham Town, which can only be a good thing.”