HITMAN Jak Jeys had Worcester City boss Ashley Vincent beaming this week – and not just for his net-bulging exploits.

The 24-year-old striker lifted the lid on the personal issues that had blighted his pre-season in the build-up to City’s FA Cup victory over Stone Old Alleynians, revealing he had suffered with mental health issues.

Jeys then made his first start in blue and white, impressing in the number-10 role with a savvy lifted finish to put City ahead 14 minutes in.

It was his third goal from one start and two substitute appearances despite having been involved in just one warm-up match.

“I am really pleased for Jak,” said Vincent.

“Naturally he had been disappointed on the Wednesday (against South Normanton) not to start having got two goals at Newark but I am being cautious because he hasn’t done what the others have fitness-wise yet.

“We saw that in the second half of the Stone game but I was still delighted for him, he now knows he is going to start matches and not just be kept around as a goalscorer from the bench.

“We need to get his fitness up but we have all been working on shooting and getting the ball into areas and he delivers that – when he has the chance to pull the trigger he does and hits the target more often than not.

“I know what he has had to say on his own problems and I admire him for that, it takes bravery to be open on these things.

“He is right in that football has been an unforgiving place for things some people wrongly see as a weakness. What he has done is shown us all what a strong character he is to openly say he is struggling.

“He has sought help and wants to move forward. Then in the space of nine days he gets three goals for us so he deserves a special mention and to see him smiling and enjoying football has given the whole group a lift.

“He is here first and foremost as a footballer but as a person he has shown tremendous character this week and I could not be happier for him.”

Midfielder Aaron Birch will be back for tomorrow’s home clash with Boldmere St Michaels in Midland Football League Premier Division (3pm).

Birch stood out in City’s opening two outings but was away for Sunday’s 4-1 win over Stone Old Alleynians in the FA Cup.

Vincent is hopeful Adam Osbourne will be well enough to return from an infection affecting his face and neck with Demetri Brown and Liam Lockett set to be the subjects of pre-match checks on knocks.

Craig Jones is still absent but should be available for the midweek trip to Long Eaton United, while Kurtis Mewies could miss out as City look to manage his calf strain.