Top goalscorers in the National League 2023/24

paul mccallum top scorer 23-24 for eastleigh

The curtain has fallen on the fiercely competitive National League season 2023/24, leaving us with a trove of memories from yet another captivating campaign in the fifth tier of the English game.

Some teams’ successful campaigns have been largely due to having a prolific scorer in their team. Here are the players who have scored the most goals in season 2023/24:

Paul McCallum (Eastleigh, 31 goals in 38 appearances)

The experienced forward was in outstanding goalscoring form in season 2023/24 for Eastleigh, scoring 31 goals in 38 National League appearances. His goals kept Eastleigh clear of the league’s bottom three, as they finished in 13th place in the table, seven points clear of danger.

On a personal level, the season was McCallum’s most prolific of his career. His previous highest total was during his first spell with Eastleigh in season 2018/19, when he scored 27 times.

Nicke Kabamba (Barnet, 25 goals in 41 appearances)

Like McCallum, Kabamba is an experienced National League striker who shone in front of goal in season 2023/24, firing home a respectable 25 goals in 41 appearances.

His goals helped Barnet finish second place in the table, only for the Bees to exit the play-offs at the hands of Solihull Moors in the competition’s semi-finals.

The season was the most prolific of Kabamba’s National League career. He is enjoying something of a purple patch in front of goal, as his previous most prolific campaign in the fifth tier was in 2022/23, when he scored 19 goals.

Will Grigg (Chesterfield, 24 goals in 38 appearances)

The former Northern Ireland international has previously been prolific at his other clubs, some of them much higher up the football pyramid. However, the 24 goals he scored to help Chesterfield win the National League title and return to the EFL may be ranked among his career’s most important.

Grigg joined the Spireites in the summer of 2023, and season 2023/24 was the only campaign he has ever played in the fifth tier of the English game.

The 32-year-old had only beaten his goal tally once in his career, in season 2015/16, when he scored 25 goals as he helped Wigan Athletic win promotion from League One to the Championship.

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe (Hartlepool United, 23 goals in 39 appearances)

While Hartlepool United finished in the limbo of 12th place in the National League table, Dieseruvwe enjoyed a profitable campaign in front of goal.

The Leeds-born forward scored 23 times in his 39 appearances in the fifth tier. Dieseruvwe had struggled for goals in previous campaigns, as his previous highest goal tally in any single season was in season 2022/23 at Halifax Town when he scored 13 times in 42 appearances.

Despite not being the most prolific forward in front of goal, Dieseruvwe has won promotion to the EFL from the National League with both Salford City and Grimsby Town.

Chris Conn-Clarke (Altrincham, 23 goals in 46 appearances)

The 22-year-old ended the season as the National League’s highest-scoring non-forward player. The Northern Irish midfielder enjoyed a dream campaign, scoring a highly impressive 23 goals.

His goal tally was even more respectable when you consider that he had scored just ten goals in his whole professional career before this season. Maybe the campaign is a sign of things to come for the former Burnley youngster.

His goals powered Altrincham to the play-offs, but unfortunately, the north west outfit lost 3-1 against Bromley in the semi-finals.

Michael Cheek (Bromley, 21 goals in 44 appearances)

The experienced forward’s 21 goals in 44 appearances helped Bromley finish third place in the table. However, the team from the outskirts of the English capital won the play-offs and will be playing in EFL for the first time in their history next season.

Cheek has been relatively prolific in the National League during a long career, scoring 151 goals in 366 appearances in the fifth tier.

The former Braintree forward has also scored four goals in seven appearances in the National League playoffs, including scoring twice in Bromley’s successful play-off campaign.

Laurent Tolaj (Aldershot Town, 19 goals in 44 appearances)

The Swiss-born forward impressed in his debut campaign with Aldershot Town, scoring 19 goals in 44 appearances in his first season in the National League.

At 22, he had struggled for first-team action during several loan spells as a Brighton player. The Seagulls released him in the summer of 2023, and he enjoyed what looks like a breakthrough campaign with Aldershot.

Tolaj initially only signed a one-year deal with Town. However, in February 2024, the club triggered an option to extend his contract until 2025. The youngster could be one to watch out for in season 2024/25.

Marcus Dinanga (Gateshead, 19 goals in 42 appearances)

After a somewhat nomadic career, Dinanga found form for Gateshead, finding the net on 19 occasions in 42 appearances. The forward’s goals powered the north east team to the play-offs.

Unfortunately, their hard work was undone when a stadium issue denied them entry into the play-offs.

Dinanga has had a slightly inconsistent career in front of goal, although he did hit 23 goals for Matlock Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division in season 2016/17. The season 2023/24 goal tally is his best at the fifth-tier level, though.

Harry Cardwell (Southend United, 18 goals in 39 appearances)

Southend may have missed out on a play-off spot, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying from striker Harry Cardwell, who found the net 18 times in 39 appearances in the National League in season 2023/24.

The season saw a significant upturn for the striker in terms of goals, as he has never truly been prolific at any level during his career so far. He has struggled for regular first-team action until season 2023/24.

His previous highest goal tally for a single season was in the National League North in season 2021/22 with Chorley, scoring seven goals in 13 appearances.

Nick Haughton (AFC Fylde, 18 goals in 43 appearances)

Haughton is only one of two players on our list who are not considered traditional forwards. His 18 goals in 43 appearances helped keep Fylde in the National League.

The campaign was the attacking midfielders most fruitful in the National League. However, he had scored 26 goals in the National League North in each of the last two seasons in the English sixth tier. His goals in season 2022/23 inspired Fylde to win promotion to the National League.

By Bob