EXCLUSIVE: The Shrimps striker is among the leading scorers in the top four divisions and last weekend went viral after scoring a last-minute winner from inside his own half
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- 16:00, 24 Nov 2021
Cole Stockton isn't just proving himself to be a great goalscorer – he's also shown he's capable of scoring great goals.
Prior to this season the Morecambe striker had only scored five times in League One.
He was promoted with the Shrimps after beating Newport County in the League Two play-off final at Wembley last May.
Almost immediately pundits and tipsters were predicting a season of gloom for Morecambe, embarking on their first-ever season in the third tier, and their number nine.
But Stockton has emphatically silenced those critics so far.
He notched his 13th league goal of the season on Tuesday, firing in a penalty that put Morecambe on their way to a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic.
Is Stockton's goal the best-ever long range strike? Let us know in the comments section
Cole Stockton is already on 13 league goals for Morecambe this season
But it was his goal against Fleetwood in the previous game that really propelled him into the headlines.
Stockton's audacious goal from inside his own half, in stoppage time with the game poised at 1-1, was the cue for wild celebrations.
But it's by no means a one-off for the 27-year-old. Earlier in the season, against Wimbledon, Stockton pulled off a superb lob from more than 40 yards out.
But his Fleetwood winner has well and truly gone viral with the clip being shared all across the world on TV shows and social media.
And Stockton admits that it wasn't until the aftermath of the victory at Highbury Stadium that he realised how rare and special his goal actually was.
"It was only after the game that I properly realised," he told the Mirror . "During the game you're still in the moment.
"I just thought I'd chance it. I knew the goalkeeper was off his line and I believe in my ability but I think with the whole occasion: it being the last minute, a derby aswell, and seeing it hit the back of the net from the halfway line, it was just a wow moment.
"Earlier in the season I did a long-range one at Wimbledon but I don't think anything will beat that Fleetwood one!"
The distance from where he scored lended itself to inevitable comparisons with the mother of all long-range goals: David Beckham's coming-of-age strike for Man United against Wimbledon in 1996.
Stockton has relished the step up to League One this season
Of the tongue-in-cheek comparison, Stockton quipped: "I shouldn't even be in the same sentence as him! But the sense of occasion, you couldn't write it.
"Lots of people have spoken on Twitter about it. It's nice to see over and over again."
While Stockton is the natural poster boy for this Morecambe team, he rightly credits his colleagues for adapting to not only a new division but also a new voice.
Derek Adams masterminded the club's rise to League One but almost immediately jumped ship in the summer, leaving for Bradford.
Stephen Robinson, the ex-Oldham and Motherwall boss, took up the mantle and Stockton credits him for making them a competitive outfit.
"We've surprised a few teams and I think we'll continue to do so," he said.
"We've had a sticky spell of late but hopefully we've turned that around now with the win last Saturday and then the Charlton draw.
"There was a lot to take in at the start but once the penny dropped of how he wanted us to play, it all started flowing. Of late we did come away from our principles and also what we're good at. But that will happen.
"But as I say, the last two games we've got back to it."
Stephen Robinson replaced Derek Adams as Morecambe boss in the summer, after his predecessor led them to promotion
Such is Stockton's ruthlessness in front of goal this term that he's actually the third-highest scorer in the top four divisions in England – behind only Aleksandar Mitrovic (21) and Dominic Solanke/Ben Brereton Diaz (both 14).
"It's nice to see and hear stuff like that, those stats that don't always get brought up," he added.
"It's nice to be getting noticed for what you're doing but I'm not one to rest on my laurels.
"It's up there with my best season but I have to try and keep it going."
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