Most successful debutants in the National League

lee angol with national league trophy lincoln city

When it comes to football debuts, it’s always important to make the right first impression. A debut performance can make or break a spell at a club or even a career.

That applies to football everywhere, no matter what level of the game.

However, which player has enjoyed the most successful debut in the National League? Here are ten players who have made significant impacts on their debuts in the fifth tier:

Lee Angol (Three goals for Lincoln City against Braintree Town)

The former Spurs youngster enjoyed the most successful debut in the National League, as he bagged a hat-trick for the Imps in a 4-0 win at Braintree Town in 2017.

He was only on loan from Peterborough and went on to score two further goals in his 11 appearances during his temporary spell with City.

Angol returned to Lincoln later in his career but made just two more appearances and failed to find the back of the net.

Lorent Tolaj (Two goals for Aldershot against Oxford City)

The former Brighton youth player joined Aldershot in the summer of 2023 after his release from the south coast club.

He made an immediate impact, scoring a brace for Town in a 5-2 home victory over Oxford City. Tolaj has continued his scoring streak in season 2023/24, scoring eight goals in 21 league appearances.

Elliot Lee (Two goals for Wrexham against Eastleigh)

The son of former Newcastle icon Rob Lee, the attacking midfielder scored twice on his debut in Wrexham’s 2-1 home win over Eastleigh in 2022.

Lee has a decent goal ratio for the Welsh team, scoring 22 goals in 61 appearances. His 12 National League goals in season 2022/23 helped Wrexham to win promotion back to the EFL after a 15-year absence.

Kairo Mitchell (Two goals for Kings Lynn Town against Wealdstone FC)

The Grenada international scored a brace in a 3-2 home debut against Wealdstone in 2020. The former Leicester youngster scored seven goals that season in 20 appearances.

He has since played for Chesterfield, Notts County, Eastleigh and Rochdale.

Ben House (Two goals for Dagenham and Redbridge against Aldershot)

On his debut, the former Scotland under-21 international bagged a brace in a 6-1 home win against Aldershot in 2019. He went on to make eight more appearances during his loan spell at the club but failed to find the net again.

However, in recent seasons, he has been slightly more prolific for Eastleigh and Lincoln City.

Charles Vernam (Two goals for Chorley FC against Chesterfield)

The winger started his youth career at Scunthorpe United before moving on to Derby County. He joined Grimsby in 2018 and went out on loan once again, this time to Chorley.

He made just four appearances for the north west club, including scoring a brace in a 3-2 away win at Chesterfield on his debut. He finished his loan spell with three goals.

Jack Hindle (Two goals for Barrow against Havant and Waterlooville)

The striker certainly made his mark on his debut as he scored twice in Barrow’s 3-0 home win over Havant and Waterlooville.

Hindle enjoyed the best spell of a sporadic football career so far with Barrow, where he scored 13 goals in 70 appearances.

Scott Quigley (Two goals for Wrexham against Hartlepool United)

The big forward joined Wrexham on loan from Blackpool in 2018. He went on to score a respectable eight goals in 17 appearances for the Welsh club.

The first two goals of Wrexham career came in a 2-0 win at Hartlepool on his debut.

Regan Charles-Cook (Two goals for Solihull Moors against Sutton United)

The winger started his career in the youth ranks at Arsenal before joining Charlton Athletic. However, in 2017, he was sent out on loan for Solihull Moors, where he made a bright start by scoring a brace in a 3-0 win over Sutton United.

The Grenada international made just 13 appearances during his temporary spell with Solihull, scoring four goals in the process.

Brandon Hanlan (Two goals for Bromley against Southport)

While contracted to Charlton in 2017, Hanlan was sent out on loan to Bromley. The forward made an immediate mark for his temporary club, scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Southport.

Hanlan struggled to make a similar impact during the rest of his short time at Bromley, as he scored just one further goal in 14 more appearances following his successful debut. He has since played for Gillingham, Bristol Rovers and Wycombe Wanderers.