16 Jan 2019 by Dan Connor

Midweek round-up of all the news from the Vanarama National League North


It has been another busy couple of days for the teams of the Vanarama National League North, regarding transfer business, with a number of clubs involved in some sort of deal. There were comings and goings, with the emphasis seeming to be more on departures than arrivals.

We’re at the midway point of the week, and Southport, who visit The J.Davidson Stadium this Saturday, are one of few clubs, so far, to have brought in a new addition to the ranks. Former Altrincham midfielder Patrick Lacey signed a contract with the club on Monday, keeping him at Haig Avenue until 2020.

Blyth Spartans have also bolstered their squad, recruiting centre-back Louis Laing. The 25-year old joins the club following the departure of left-back Ian Watson, who left The Spartans on Monday to take on the role as assistant-manager at Gateshead.

Spennymoor Town and Kidderminster Harriers have both seen loan players return to their parent clubs. Alex Kempster left The Moors to go back to York City on Sunday, and George Waring’s spell at Kidderminster ended on Monday afternoon, when he headed back to League Two side Tranmere Rovers.

The Harriers also waved goodbye to striker Dan Bradley this week, the 27-year old signing for former club AFC Fylde for an undisclosed fee.

Relegation-haunted Nuneaton Borough’s woes have increased, with the loss of two midfielders. Carl Baker left the Warwickshire club yesterday morning, just 24 hours after Monday’s news that Ryan Jennings had cancelled his contract.

Finally, best wishes to Darlington midfielder-turned-defender Liam Hughes, who is taking a break from football due to unspecified off-field problems. Darlington chief executive David Johnston issued a statement, which read: ‘Liam has been suffering from significant personal problems for some time and, as a result, is now receiving professional help. The club is fully supportive of Liam, and we wish him well, as he goes through the recovery process.

‘Consequently, he will not be available for selection for a number of weeks, but Liam wanted to let our fans know the reason behind his absence. Despite his current problems, he has managed to deliver some outstanding performances for the club, and I would be grateful if you could support and respect Liam, as he takes these steps along the road to recovery.’

Johnston’s plea for fans to rally round Hughes, who missed Darlington’s eventful 3-3 draw at The J.Davidson Stadium last month due to a shoulder injury, has already been taken on board. As a gesture of support, Darlington fans plan to chant his name in the fifth-minute of their match this Saturday as they take on Spennymoor Town at Blackwell Meadows.

It has been reported in the Northern Echo that Hughes is spending four weeks at the Sporting Chance clinic in Hampshire, a charity founded by former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams to provide specialist addiction and recovery treatment for athletes, before returning to Darlington next month.


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