423. Petrit ELBI
appearances 36+7 (league 20+3)
goals 26 (2 pens) (league 20)
debut Tilbury, F A Cup Preliminary Round 2.9.06
Striker who scored seven times in the 2006 pre-season, but missed the start of competitive action after taking the opportunity to return to his native Albania for the first time in seven years. Opened his competitive account in some style after just four minutes of his home debut by firing over the stranded 'keeper from thirty yards. Was honoured by the supporters who started bringing a big Albanian flag to matches. Emerged from a spell of injuries to hit a hat-trick in a 6-0 win at Stansted and follow it with a long-range scorcher three days later at Hullbridge Sports. Missed most of February with a hamstring injury but scored within eleven minutes of taking the field for his comeback, capitalising on a rebound off the crossbar from a shot by the man who had been taking his place - Danny Downer, who hadn't scored since October. Managed to sneak ahead of Des Gallen as top scorer in late March, by virtue of having fewer penalties in his tally, only to see Gallen hit four goals in his next match. Managed to finish top scorer in league games at least, and rounded off with the equaliser in the League Cup Final against Brentwood Town to take the match into extra-time, missing a penalty early in the shoot-out as Boro eventually went down at the sudden death stage. Nevertheless won the fans' vote as Player of the Year, and followed time-honoured tradition by leaving during the summer. Was taken on after a trial by League Two newcomers Dagenham & Redbridge, but was loaned out to Staines Town and then Redbridge before returning to Rush Green in October while injured. Scored on his return to first team action in December but went back to Albania for a trial in the new year.
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