ALSAGER Town will have former Crewe Alex and Nantwich Town striker Steve Jones leading the line when they take on local rivals Stone Old Alleynians at Yarnfield on Saturday.
Jones has joined from fellow North West Counties League side Whitchurch Alport and chairman Terry Greer says is shows the ambition of the club as they look to next season.
The Bullets are sitting third bottom of Division One South and see Jones as the signing to who can help to push them up the table.
“Steve’s a big signing for us,” said Greer. “We have struggled for goals all season, so hopefully Steve can solve that problem. He’s got bags of experience, keeps himself fit. He’ll be the old head up front who can also organise and encourage the younger players in the team. It’s something that’s been missing for most of the season.”
Jones, now 43, will also take on a coaching role to work with the management team of Stuart Tulloch and Elliot Ledwards.
“On the pitch, Steve will hopefully be the short-term fix this season, then we’ll look to build for next season,” added Greer.
Manager Tulloch said he’d been trying to sign Jones for a few weeks.
“I’ve been after Steve for 4-5 weeks now and to finally get him over the line despite interest from numerous other clubs, well it’s an unbelievable signing for the Bullets.
“Not only does he bring goals to the team, but his experience to pass on to players and guide them through games will be priceless. We believe he is the final piece missing in the jigsaw for survival this year. He’ll be a great lad to have in the dressing room and I’m delighted to have him on board. Big thanks to our chairman Terry (Greer) and others behind the scenes that have helped to make this happen.”
Jones scored 40 goals in 162 appearances for Crewe Alex and also played for Burnley, Rochdale and Huddersfield. He also played 20 times for Northern Ireland and joined Nantwich in 2014 from Airbus UK Broughton.
He scored 12 goals in 31 appearances in the 2016/17 season and five times in 31 appearances during the 2017/18 season, including two in the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final win over Stalybridge Celtic.
Alsager have also signed defensive midfielder Lyndon Campbell from Sandbach United.
Jones’ former club Nantwich remain in the BetVictor Premier Division play-off places, despite losing 1-0 at home to fellow promotion hopefuls FC United of Manchester.
Aaron Morris scored the only goal of the game just before half-time in front of a crowd of just under 600. To round off a disappointing night for the Dabbers, goalkeeper Greg Hall received a straight red for an incident after the final whistle and could miss three big games coming up.
Nantwich are at home again on Saturday when they take on Derbyshire outfit Mickleover Sports at the Weaver Stadium (3pm).
Meanwhile, the Dabbers have announced the return of Aaron Burns on dual-registration terms with Northwich Victoria.
Burns grabbed 43 goals in 77 games for the Dabbers during his first spell with the club under Danny Johnson and Phil Parkinson, before departing to play for the likes of Stalybridge Celtic and Droylsden before arriving at the North West Counties League outfit Northwich Victoria.
The striker was voted into the Dabbers’ Team of the Decade of 2010-19 for his efforts and now returns to the club as a firm fans’ favourite.
NEWCASTLE TOWN are certainly enjoying life on the road at the moment with three victories in a week to ease any lingering fears of relegation.
A 2-0 win at Worksop Town last Wednesday night was followed by a 1-0 win at Frickley Athletic on Saturday and on Tuesday night, Robin Van Der Laan’s men completed the hat-trick with a 2-1 win at Chasetown, thanks to goals from Harvey Howell and Ryan McLean.
The three wins have moved Newcastle up to 16 place in the South East Division and 11 points clear of bottom club Market Drayton Town.
With cup victories over Buxton (3-1) in the Integro League Cup and Walsall Wood (3-0) in the Staffs FA Senior Cup, that makes it five wins on the bounce for the Lyme Valley Club.
Things didn’t start too well for Newcastle when the home side flew into a first-minute lead through Will Whieldon who found himself with space inside the box to fire a shot past goalkeeper Joe Slinn for his first of the season.
Howell was introduced into the action as a replacement for Josh Glover, who went off with an injury in the 40th minute and right on the stroke of half-time he levelled the scores. Howell got on the end of a long throw that was flicked on by Kieron Brown to head home past Curtis Pond.
In the second half, Newcastle looked stronger as the game wore on and looked the more likely to score a second goal and it finally arrived in the 79th minute through McLean, who used his pace to race clear of the Chasetown defence for his 15th goal of the season.
Newcastle are in action again this Saturday when they welcome Ilkeston Town to their Red Industries Stadium (3pm).