JOSH Ruffels has revealed the secret behind his impressive upturn in goalscoring form.

The midfielder’s stoppage-time winner against Doncaster Rovers last weekend was his fifth this season.

It is quite a return for someone who had averaged a goal once every 32 games in the rest of his career.

Only Jack Payne and Wes Thomas have scored more often for Oxford United, but the 24-year-old is on a mission to reach double figures.

After netting in the 2-0 win at Oldham Athletic on the opening day in August, a supporter got in touch with a proposition which has proved inspirational.

Ruffels said: “I’ve not had this goalscoring reputation, but it’s a great feeling. I love it.

“On Twitter after the Oldham game a fan got in touch and said they would make a £100 donation to charity if I got ten goals this season.

“Then other people kept adding to it. I think it came to about £600 if I reach double figures.

“I’m five down and five to go.

“It’s a little motivational thing for me and it’s obviously working. I’ve got to keep it going.”

Brandon Trust, which works across southern England to support people with learning disabilities and autism, stand to benefit if he hits the target.

It all came from the initial message from Aaron Strong, who has been watching Ruffels’s progress with interest.

Like the midfielder, the 32-year-old is also from Kidlington, although he now lives in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

And he is thrilled to hear the challenge is a source of motivation.

He said: “After watching some of last season’s games, the difference between winning and losing was that we appeared scared to shoot.

“I’ve watched Josh a few times during warm ups and saw that he has a sweet strike on him.

“I thought if I offered his charity £100, would it push him on to become a starter and bag a few goals?

“It’s always great to see a local lad do well. I personally love working to targets, I’m sure footballers are the same.”

He added: “I just hope Josh gets the other five goals so I can pay up my £100 to the charity of his choice, I wish I could afford more but I’m glad others have chipped in.”

Ruffels will be attempting to net for a sixth time tomorrow when United visit Rochdale.

Pep Clotet’s side are looking to extend a five-game run where the only blip has come with a 4-2 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

Otherwise the U’s have looked more robust defensively, which has encouraged the midfielder.

He said: “It has been good. Blackburn was a bit unfortunate conceding so quickly didn’t give us a chance.

“We are playing well, it’s just making sure we don’t concede early.

“We know we can score goals whenever, so if we can keep it out of the net and we become a difficult side to beat.”