FORMER Witton Albion loanee Owen Dale’s footballing career has hit a new high.

The Crewe Alexandra forward, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Wincham Park during the 2017-18 campaign, has been named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December.

Dale scored four goals in as many games last month, including a stunning overhead kick against Burton Albion, as The Alex went six games unbeaten.

“I am very happy to win this award, especially in the company of those that were also nominated,” the 22-year-old told the club’s official website.

“It was a good month for me personally but more importantly the team.

“We are in good form and the results and performances have been there for a while."

Dale played 25 times for Carl Macauley’s side during his spell with the club in the Northern Premier League and scored five goals in that time.

After leaving Witton, he spent time on loan at Altrincham before making 27 appearances for Crewe during a 2019-20 season which saw them win promotion from League Two.

He has handled the step up to League One with aplomb, scoring six times in 23 appearances in all this campaign.

Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman, who is on the monthly award’s judging panel, says Dale’s form in December was hard to ignore.

“The play of Owen Dale certainly passed the eye test in December, with some sensational efforts clinching this award for the Crewe winger,” he said.

“His stats held up too, with four goals and an assist during the month, but his tremendous overhead kick at Burton is hard to ignore as his crowning moment.

“A special goal, which he won’t be forgetting in a hurry.”

Dale’s performances have helped The Alex to ninth place in the League One table, just two points outside the play-off spots.

Crewe boss Dave Artell says his charge’s award is “fully deserved” and has challenged him to continue putting himself in the frame for individual honours going forward.

“There are 500 or so players in League One and for him to be voted as the best performer in December is a terrific achievement,” he said.

“Owen fully deserves the award. That is what he is capable of. His end product is improving and he is getting into better positions.

“He is concentrating on his technique and that has seen an improvement in his finishing.

“His overhead kick was special but his headed goals were the correct technique too. He headed them down and saw them go into the top corner.

“It is about him getting a clean contact on his shot and if it takes a deflection and goes in the opposite corner, then so be it. They all count.

“Owen is a brilliant fella and he is always looking to learn and improve. The challenge is for him to go and produce that form again and get nominated again.”