NEVER look a gift horse in the mouth. That's Luke Beckett's motto when it comes to scoring goals.
The 29-year-old striker took his season's haul to six with both home efforts in last Saturday's 2-1 win over Carlisle United at the Galpharm.
And while the first was pure quality, the second, while crisply dispatched, came from a penalty even Beckett admits was harsh.
The South Yorkshireman, who joined Town in an £85,000 deal from Sheffield United in the summer, was in the perfect position to judge.
It was from his 32nd-minute cross that the ball connected with Carlisle centre-back Peter Murphy.
Middlesex referee Jarnail Singh, who was certainly close to the incident, immediately signalled a handball and pointed to the penalty spot.
Beckett, however, wasn't so sure about the spot kick.
"It was a bit doubtful in my view," said the Sheffield-born star, who also had a loan spell at Town in early 2005, when he netted six times in seven appearances.
"I tried to tuck the ball into the danger area past Peter Murphy, who spread himself to try and block, and the ball seemed to catch him on the elbow.
"I thought it was more ball to man than the other way around, but you're not going to turn down a penalty, are you?
"There have been times this season when the calls have gone against us, so it's swings and roundabouts."
With the spot kick duly awarded, Beckett made no mistake, even though Carlisle keeper Kieron Westwood went the correct way (to his right).
"I hit it with my right foot, and it was a case of getting power and precision," said the man who also netted from the spot in the 3-0 home win over Rotherham in August.
"If you're going to put it to one side of the keeper, it's important you get it right in the corner so that even if he dives the right way, he can't stop it."
Beckett's spot kick against Rotherham was also drilled to the keeper's right, but the cool marksman insists he likes to vary his style from the spot.
"It all depends how I feel at the time," he explained.
"I've got no set method, and I scored four penalties for Oldham last season which were all different."
The spot kick which put Town two up against Carlisle was Beckett's 142nd goal in the 323rd senior outing of a career which began at Chester (after a stint as a trainee at Barnsley) and continued with Chesterfield and Stockport before a November 2004 switch to Sheffield United, who loaned him to Oldham as well as Town before agreeing a permanent deal with Peter Jackson.
And while he has many methods of finishing, most come down to the thing which has made him a wanted commodity down the years - a striker's instinct.
That was evident in last Saturday's first goal, a cool left-foot finish on 21 minutes.
"Their midfielder Simon Hackney played a back pass which fell short for them but perfectly for me," said Beckett.
"I got goalside of Kevin Gray, and although he tried to pull me back, I held him off, drew the keeper and slipped it down the side of him."
Beckett would have loved to have gone on to register a hat trick, but Town created few further chances before he was replaced by Andy Booth on 79 minutes.
Town fans in a 10,830 crowd made their disapproval crystal clear, but Beckett, who for the second match running had played as the lone striker in front of a five-man midfield, had no complaints.
"They'd got the goal back just before the break, and we were coming under the cosh in the second half. We needed some fresh legs," he said.
"I played the same role at Bradford (Town won 1-0 at Valley Parade seven days previously) and it's hard work.
"With two strikers, you spark off each other and make runs to pull the centre-backs about.
"When you're on your own, it can often be you against two defenders.
"While you do get support from the midfield, much of your role is to hold the ball up and wait for the others to arrive.
"I'm happy to do that as well as I can, but it's not my natural game, and it's hard work!"
The 4-5-1 system has certainly brought success, however, with Town winning three out of the four matches in which it has been used to climb to 11th in League I (before today's games).
Beckett is eager to do all he can to ensure the rise up the standings continues.
"We've been on a good run, but I don't think we've really kicked on like we should be doing," he said.
"We have to start dominating opponents for longer.
"All teams are going to have a good spell in a game, but Carlisle's went on too long.
"We've yet to get the result which would really define us.
"It's going to come, though, because there are always going to be goals in this side, and we're starting to defend more strongly throughout the side now.
"If we keep working hard, it will all click."