Monmouth Town lose top goalscorer
THE Nathaniel Cars Welsh League's most prolific goalscorer over the past four seasons, Monmouth Town's Dan MacDonald, has joined Southern League side Evesham United.
The 27-year-old former Aston Villa trainee and England under-16 cap scored a 98 league goals for The Kingfishers, who he joined in 2011-2012 - a remarkable record given he is not a striker, but an attacking midfielder.
The total is given further credibility considering he once spent three months on loan with Welsh Premier League club Carmarthen Town as well as missing the first five games of last season when he linked up with Merthyr Town.
Despite that loan move to Carmarthen, MacDonald topped the WL scorers' charts in 2011-2012 with 37 goals and in subsequent campaigns, his league totals were 17, 27 and 13 with four more being netted during the current season.
Monmouth boss Andrew Smith said he is disappointed to see MacDonald and continued: “But when you have a player with his ability and our shoe-string budget, you run the risk of him getting better offers elsewhere.
“No player is bigger than the club and we have to live within our means and if that means a drop in quality, then so be it.
“Having said that, I still believe we have a squad that, despite our poor start, is capable of challenging in the upper echelons of the Welsh League.
“Macca (MacDonald) goes on good terms and knows he is always welcome back. In fact, he has asked if he can still train with us as we train on different says than Evesham.
“I can never fault Dan's work rate or attitude when he has been with us and I really hope he can sustain a good run and make a name for himself the other side of the bridge.
“He probably knows this is his last chance to go off and earn a good wage through football and I, and the club, wish him well.”
In his time with the club, Monmouth lifted the Welsh League Division Two and Division One titles and they also won the Gwent Senior Cup in 2014-2015 with an 8-0 hammering of Panteg in the final - in which he scored.
However one of the most disappointing moments came in an away, last-16 Welsh Cup tie at WPL Connah's Quay, where MacDonald was on target as Monmouth raced into a 3-0 lead - before losing 5-3.
His last league goal for Monmouth was in a 4-2 away defeat at Cambrian & Clydach on August 22, although he grabbed a hat-trick in a same-scoreline League Cup victory at Cwm Welfare on September 5.
Evesham are managed by former Swindon Town defender Paul Collicutt, who once has a spell with Newport County, and MacDonald is expected to be named in their squad for Saturday's away game against Didcot Town.
Monmouth won their first game of the season at the sixth attempt by defeating visiting Aberbargoed Buds 3-1 recently and are next in action when hosting Barry Town United on Saturday