Stockport Express

New Hatters deals for attacking duo

- SAM BYRNE Published by MEN Media, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton, OL9 8EF. Printed by Reach Printing Services (Oldham) Limited, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 8EB

COUNTY have moved to tie down two in-form attackers this week, with winger Elliot Newby penning a permanent deal – whilst leading marksman Alex Reid is understood to be on the verge of penning a contract extension to remain at Edgeley Park.

Reid’s situation has been a hot topic amongst supporters over the last few weeks as the former Stevenage forward returned to form with four goals over the last month, taking the Birmingham­born striker to the top of

‘I just focus on the players who are with us and getting the best out of them’

County’s goalscorin­g charts with 18 goals in all competitio­ns.

The 25-year-old, who also became County’s leading goalscorer in a single National League season in the process, was due to become out-ofcontract this summer after signing on a oneyear deal under previous boss Jim Gannon last sea- son – but the Express understand­s Reid has now agreed a deal to remain with The Hatters.

The news will prove a welcome boost for County supporters, who had become more concerned in recent weeks of Reid’s potential exit following his stellar season in front of goal – but The Hatters seem to have secured Reid’s future with the club.

Meanwhile, the impressive Newby has joined on a two-year deal as The Hatters moved to make the winger’s loan move from National League North outfit Chorley a permanent one prior to this week’s transfer deadline for non-league clubs.

County confirmed the signing of Newby this week, with a nominal undisclose­d fee securing Newby’s services for the next two campaigns. The former Blackburn Rovers youngster had one more year on his deal at Victory Park, but County parted with a reportedly small fee to bring the 25 year-old to Edgeley Park on a permanent basis on Monday.

Newby has impressed in his loan spell with the club so far, although his former Chorley teammate Harry Cardwell looks unlikely, as things stand, to join Newby in making the permanent move, with

The Magpies reported to be holding out for a fee of around £100k for the Scottish forward.

One striker who may be returning to Edgeley Park shortly looks to be striker Richie Bennett, with the target man currently enjoying a loan spell at league leaders Hartlepool.

Bennett’s temporary move to the North East has drawn the ire of some Hatters supporters, with the former Port Vale forward striking a hattrick in the Pools’ 2-7 thrashing of Wealdstone on Saturday as County struggled to a 2-2 draw with Maidenhead Utd at Edgeley Park. Bennett, who linked up with Dave Challinor’s side on 1st April, has a 28 day recall clause on the loan which The Hatters look set to exercise next week to bring the big forward back to Edgeley Park for the end of season run-in.

County boss Simon Rusk, speaking following Saturday’s 2-2 stalemate, dismissed any talk around Bennett’s initial move to Hartlepool, outlining that Director of Football Simon Wilson had already provided County’s reasoning in allowing the move to a promotion-chasing rival.

“I understand the question, but Simon (Wilson) has already explained the club’s reasoning on that,” said Rusk. “I just focus on the players who are with us in the immediate and getting the best out of those players for Stockport County.”

However, with just one more fixture to come this weekend for Bennett at Hartlepool prior to the recall clause kicking in, the former Barrow striker’s time with Challinor’s side looks to be coming to an end.

Meanwhile, Rusk admitted that his side “weren’t at their best” in Saturday’s laboured 2-2 draw with Alan Devonshire’s Magpies at Edgeley Park.

County twice came from behind to salvage a point through Paddy

Madden’s late strike and extend The Hatters’ unbeaten run to ten games, although Rusk’s men couldn’t quite find a winner in a somewhat below par performanc­e.

“I thought we were uncharacte­ristic today. The nature of their goals is very disappoint­ing.”

“We’ve been solid for the last nine or ten games, so they’re disappoint­ing goals to concede. We were definitely not at our best, but showed great resiliency to come back twice.”

“You can see with the results across the league on Saturday that there really are no easy games. It’s fair to say that either side could have nicked it.”

“Maybe the schedule has caught up with us a bit, but we have a free week now to knuckle down and get back to our best for Saturday at Boreham Wood.”

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 ?? Mike Petch ?? ●●Harry Cardwell jostles for position during the 2-2 draw against Maidenhead United at Edgeley Park on Saturday
Mike Petch ●●Harry Cardwell jostles for position during the 2-2 draw against Maidenhead United at Edgeley Park on Saturday

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