The English non-league rarely delivers the kind of beautiful football worthy of the world’s top divisions, but every once in a while players at this level can show the pros how it’s done and produce something truly special.
From Roberto Carlos-esque free-kicks to finishes that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be proud of, these are the best goals ever scored in English football outside of the top four divisions...
11. Joe Lolley (Kidderminster Harriers vs Halifax Town)
Joe Lolley is currently on the books at Huddersfield Town, and it’s easy to see how he found his way into the upper echelons of English football when re-watching the beauty he netted for Kidderminster during their 2-0 win against Halifax in 2013.
The midfielder collected a long ball on the right wing, cut inside and fired a curler into the top corner from 25 yards, leaving Halifax goalkeeper Matt Glennon with no chance whatsoever.
10. Glen Little (Dulwich Hamlet vs Wealdstone)
Although ex-Reading man Glen Little’s Premier League days were long behind him when he lined up for Wealdstone in their Isthmian League Premier Division clash at Dulwich Hamlet in 2013, he showed quality worthy of the top flight with a stunning solo goal straight out of Maradona’s playbook.
Gaining possession just outside of his own penalty area, a Little went a long way that day, running the length of the pitch and swerving several challenges before capping the move with a delectable chip from inside the box.
9. Luisma Villa (Barnet vs Cambridge United)
The only thing more astonishing than the presence of Dutch legend Edgar Davids in Barnet’s starting XI was the Luisma Villa strike that inspired their comeback against Cambridge in the Conference Premier.
With the hosts trailing 2-0, Spaniard Villa collected a through-ball from player-manager Davids and shot first time, curling his strike straight into the top corner. Buoyed by Villa’s moment of magic, Barnet went on to snatch a point in a 2-2 draw.
8. Steve McNulty (Luton Town vs Southport)
A dipping, 30-yard volley from the iconic Steve McNulty put Luton on course for a 3-0 win over Southport during their Conference Premier title-winning season of 2013/14.
With the scoreline at 0-0, the veteran defender – marvelled at for his... let's say hefty frame – met a headed clearance with a sensational first-time strike from 25 yards that left the net bulging and Southport goalkeeper Danny Hurt grasping at air.
7. Dave Tarpey (Maidenhead United vs Dartford)
It was only a matter of time before non-league sensation Dave Tarpey climbed up the divisions, and sure enough Barnet snapped him up at the beginning of this season. He showed what he was capable of while playing for Maidenhead in their National League South clash with Darford in 2016.
Tarpey collected a flick-on from his strike partner before wrong-footing a defender with a tricky back-heel, swerving past another and coolly guiding the ball into the back of the net. The striker could have been a coup for League Two Barnet had he not knacked his cruciate ligament in his second appearance, an injury that’s sidelined him for the season.
6. Nick Haughton (Alfreton Town vs Chorley)
Nick Haughton proved he could bend it like Beckham when he found the net from inside his own half in Chorley’s 2-0 win at Alfreton Town in National League South earlier this season.
Spotting goalkeeper Chris Elliott well off his line, the young midfielder tried the lob from 60 yards out and was rewarded with a goal-of-the-season contender for his audacity. Haughton is on loan at Chorley from Fleetwood Town, and nobody can blame them for wanting him on a permanent deal.
5. Carl Magnay (Gateshead vs Chester)
Although Gateshead’s 2013/14 season ended in the disappointment of a play-off final defeat, Carl Magnay’s wonder strike during their 3-2 home win over Chester was a moment from the campaign to savour.
With just one minute on the clock, James Marwood’s corner was cleared only as far as the defender, who met it with a vicious 40-yard drive that found the top corner. Pick that one out.
4. Daniel Dubidat (Alvechurch vs Sheffield FC)
With the scoreline tied at 2-2 in the dying stages, Alvechurch looked like they had blown their opportunity to climb to second in the Evo-Stik League South – until a goal that broke the internet decided the contest.
Striker Daniel Dubidat latched onto a searching ball upfield, before teeing himself up for a cheeky lob that left Doncaster Rovers loanee Louis Jones standing. As well as going viral, Dubidat’s stunning strike helped his side gain ground on the division’s runaway leaders Basford United. Crucial.
3. Rene Steer (St Neots Town vs Canvey Island)
When folks talk about the magic of the FA Cup, Steer’s goal for St Neots Town against Canvey Island during the qualifying rounds of the 2013 competition is exactly what they mean.
The young left-back, who started his career at Arsenal and now plies his trade at Maidenhead United, struck a thunderbolt with his left peg from almost 40 yards out, a blistering effort that went in off the underside of the bar, staying hit the entire time. St Neots Town ended up losing the match 2-1, but Steer’s rocket will live long in the memory of their fans.
2. Warren Byrne (Tow Law Town vs South Shields)
South Shields striker Warren Byrne became a viral sensation and staked an unlikely claim for the Puskas Award when he struck an absolute worldy at Tow Law Town during their title-winning season of 2015/16.
After a headed clearance fell kindly for the forward on the edge of the opposition’s penalty area, he controlled the ball and flicked it over his head, before belting an unstoppable volley straight into the top corner to steal the show in a 3-0 win.
1. Brendon Daniels (Alfreton Town vs York City)
Brendon Daniels’s masterful free-kick wasn’t enough to secure any points for Alfreton in their 3-2 defeat to National League North rivals York City, but it was a strike that Roberto Carlos, David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of.
The 24-year-old winger stood over a dead ball from 35 yards out and unleashed a rocket from his left peg, finding the net via the underside of the crossbar. Daniels has earned plaudits for his free-kick taking throughout his career, and this one is the pick of the bunch.
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