Shrewsbury Town's Stefan Payne proving a point to Barnsley

Paul Heckingbottom manager of Barnsley during the pre season friendly at Oakwell Stadium between Barnsley and Huddersfield Town on July 22, 2017 in Barnsley, England.

Stefan Payne didn't get much of a chance at Barnsley but he is already a firm fans' favourite at Shrewsbury Town.

Stefan Payne of Shrewsbury Town attempts to control the ball under pressure from Lewin Nyatanga of Northampton Town during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and...

If you’ve ever wanted a reason why you shouldn't to fritter away your funds gambling on football scores, consider this; Shrewsbury Town are four points clear at the top of League One.

The pre-season relegation favourites, who finished 18th and 20th in the last two seasons, have won nine of their first 11 league games, drawn the other two, and are picking up results that fans couldn’t imagine in their wildest dreams.

And The Shrews ongoing giant killing owes much to the prolific goalscoring of summer signing Stefan Payne. The 26-year-old has started six games in the third tier and scored five goals, including the opener in a hugely impressive 2-0 home win against Scunthorpe United on Saturday.

Former club Barnsley, meanwhile, may be scratching their heads and wondering where Payne had been hiding this clinical streak during his short spell at Oakwell last season.

Stefan Payne of Barnsley in action duriing during the EFL Cup match between Barnsley and Northampton Town at Oakwell Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Barnsley, England.

The Tykes plucked the late-blooming striker from non-league Dover Athletic last summer but, just halfway through his two year deal, allowed him to leave for Shrewsbury on a permanent basis for a minimal fee.

After failing to score in nine games for Barnsley, Payne has six in the same amount for The Shrews in 2017/18. Suddenly, the form that saw him score at a prolific rate for Dover has come flooding back.

Paul Heckingbottom manager of Barnsley during the pre season friendly at Oakwell Stadium between Barnsley and Huddersfield Town on July 22, 2017 in Barnsley, England.

Fortunately, Barnsley have a red-hot goalscorer of their own right now in Tom Bradshaw. But with Paul Heckingbottom’s side just two points off the Championship relegation zone, they could be forgiven for wondering whether they should have given Payne more than nine games to prove himself.

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