Cheltenham Town striker Alfie May says he is back at his best after struggling in the build-up to last season’s play-offs and the start of the current campaign.
The former Doncaster Rovers forward netted his fourth goal of the season in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Bradford City, but it was his first League Two strike since the home defeat by Morecambe on September 12.
May became a father in May, with the arrival of Arthur Sam, bringing him great joy, but he did not expect the play-offs to go ahead due to the first national lockdown.
“I had a terrible start to the lockdown, which hit me hard and took a lot out of me, I can totally admit that,” May said.
“I’ve spoken to the gaffer (Michael Duff) about this and to be honest, I didn’t expect the play-offs to go ahead.
“I’d had the little one and also had the stress of my wedding, which took place up north.”
Lacking sharpness, May went on for the final 16 minutes of the semi-final first leg at Northampton Town.
He then started the second leg, as the Cobblers hit back from 2-0 down to win the second match 3-0 at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
May feels like it has only been in recent weeks that he has regained the sort of form that saw him net six times in his first 11 appearances after joining Cheltenham on a two-and-a-half year deal in January.
“I had a bit of an issue after pre-season, with myself, a personal thing, but I am back performing to what I know I am now,” he said.
“The only frustrating thing is not scoring more goals, but hopefully I can go on another run now because I am feeling fit and sharp.
“Last year everything fell to me and I put it in the net and playing for Cheltenham has been the most confident I’ve felt in front of goal.
“Performance wise I feel I am there now, so while results are the most important thing, I am raring to score more and more.”
May has partnered George Lloyd up front in the last two matches and the two have linked up well together, with Andy Williams and Reuben Reid Duff’s other forward options.
“I’ve enjoyed playing with Lloydy and we are quite close together off the pitch too,” May said.
“We play golf together and we’re always texting, with plenty of banter.
“He’s not the biggest, like myself, but he has a leap on him and can flick things on as well as being a runner like me.
“I think we know how to get the best out of each other, but it’s the same with all four of us and when called upon, any combination can work well.”
Two of May’s goals this term have come in the FA Cup, in the 3-1 first round win over South Shields.
He then helped Cheltenham oust League One Crewe in round two, setting up a home tie against Mansfield Town in January.
May, who has some special FA Cup memories already, is hoping to progress again and earn a dream tie to Anfield.
“Liverpool away is the one I want because I support them and a few of my family do too,” he said.
“As a kid you want to perform in the FA Cup and with my background being in non-league, getting to the third round doesn’t happen that often and it feels like a big thing.
“I scored four for Doncaster against Chorley two seasons ago and I’ll always be able to tell my kids I’ve scored in the FA Cup, which is a dream come true.
“I have the match ball framed and up in my house and I walk past it every morning and always realise I have a dream job because at one stage I didn’t think I’d be a professional footballer.”
* Cheltenham play Exeter City at home in League Two on Saturday (3pm).