Stowmarket Town bring in former AFC Sudbury midfielder Ben Hunter on loan from Leiston
Manager Paul Musgrove has bolstered his midfield options at Stowmarket Town with the arrival of Ben Hunter.
Hunter, who is the grandson of Ipswich Town legend Allan, has joined the Old Gold & Blacks on loan from higher-league Leiston until the end of the season.
And it was a deal Musgrove was keen to get done, particularly after recent arrival Erkan Okay decided to retire.
Musgrove said of former AFC Sudbury youngster Hunter: “He makes us stronger as a unit.
“However we play in whatever system we go with, he’s got the qualities to blend with the players around him.
“He’s got that experience despite being so young and now it’s down to us to get him going because he has not played much recently.”
Hunter has joined a team that returned to winning ways in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division last weekend, although Musgrove would have preferred to have had much more of a straightforward afternoon.
His side fell behind to struggling Witham Town at Greens Meadow before gaining the lead through second-half goals from Luke Brown and Josh Curry.
Witham then responded with an equaliser, but the 3-2 victory was sealed late on through Josh Mayhew.
The boss said: “We were very sloppy in the first half although you have to take into account the conditions.
“I tore a strip off them a little bit at half-time. I asked for a reaction and to be fair to the lads they gave me one.
“We got in front and conceded another sloppy goal, but thankfully we’ve managed to get the winner.
“It’s one of those days when you’ve got the win and haven’t played well; you’ve ticked that box and now move on.”
It was a win that kept Stowmarket second, level on points with a league-leading Aveley outfit that have played a game more.
On Saturday Musgrove will take his men to 14th-placed Tilbury (3pm) – a game that he expects to be another stern test of their credentials.
“It’s one of those games that is another marker in many ways,” he added. “We’re away from home at an established side so it will be another indication of where we are at.
“There is sometimes a suggestion that Suffolk sides have a bit of a soft underbelly when they go away from home – Tilbury is the sort of place you have to prove different.
“It’s another big test where we’ll have to win the battle before we win the war.”
While Tevan Allen is likely to be sidelined for a period of time with a knee injury, Musgrove revealed that long-term absentees Jack Ainsley, Dom Docherty and Craig Parker are all nearing a return, with the latter potentially in the squad this weekend.