JANUARY saw Freddie Potter rubber stamp his recovery from a long-term injury by having a massive influence as Runcorrn Linnets extended their winning run in The Hallmark Security League to 10 Premier Division games.

Freddie was already considered the comeback king at The Millbank Linnets Stadium on account of his return last season from a brief spell at AFC Liverpool.

But after getting himself in peak condition in time for the new campaign and in its early weeks looking as sharp as he has ever been, the talismanic centre forward was hit by serious collar bone damage in an FA Cup tie defeat at Ashton Athletic.

A long and frustrating way back for the fans favourite was only complicated when he picked up another niggle early in his recuperation.

The double setback coincided with his colleagues in the club's striking department continuing their own fine form.

All this meant that Freddie had to bide his time and when he got out on to the field, frustrations were only exacerbated by wretched luck in front of goal as he was regularly denied by good goalkeeping and the woodwork.

However, his recent scoring record has been on an upward curve with two goals in November being followed by four in December, including a Boxing Day derby double at Pavilions against Runcorn Town.

Despite Michael Ellison having an embarrassment of frontline riches with top scorer Stuart Wellstead, long-serving Mark Houghton and former Conference South striker Mitch Bryant all vying for places, Freddie figured in all five January matches.

With such strength in depth, Ello has to a degree been able to make 'horses for courses' selections in attack but whether in the starting XI or coming off the bench, Freddie has been quick to make an impact.

Three starts plus two appearances as substitute yielded five goals during the month, taking his total to a very healthy 14 goals from 26 outings, including (because of injuries) just 11 starts.

Not bad going at all!

Freddie is much more than a marksman, however, as he leads the line superbly - holding the ball up to set up play (and chances for others) while troubling opposition defences with his ability in the air and on the floor.

His best efforts have included...

* A long-distance strike for the last and arguably the best of the Linnets' four unanswered goals at Winsford, after featuring prominently in the moves that brought the earlier three.

* The well-taken goal, which sealed a tough 3-1 fightback win at home to Congleton.

* An excellent hat-trick and opposition man-of-the-match vote against fellow title challengers Charnock Richard in an important Runcorn win at The MLS.

Of all the match day songs belted out by the Linnets fans, the one which pays homage to Freddie Potter is probably the most often heard.

The words say it all about what the ever popular player means to Runcorn Linnets and he is a deserving Player of the Month for January at the club and now for the Hallmark Security League Premier Division.