ALL boss Albert Dearing wants for Christmas is a new goalkeeper to help Purton Reserves in their Wiltshire Premier title tilt.
Left-back Andy Lewis donned the gloves - not for the first time this season - in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to leaders Wilts Calne Town, which left the Red House side 10 points behind with four games in hand.
Wes Clarke and Danny Leafe had previously been between the sticks for Purton, before moving away to London and suffering injury respectively, while others have also stepped in.
And manager Dearing says a new stopper is essential if his second-placed team are to carry their impressive form into the new year.
“Saturday was probably the fourth time Andy has gone in goal but we’ve got away with it before,” said Dearing.
“We had a right-back out so with Andy in goal we were missing two of our defenders, and you don’t want to be doing that for a big game.
“We’ve played about four this year and our priority over the break is to find a new keeper, so if anyone’s out there we’d love to hear from them.”
Dearing explained that although Purton were well-beaten by Calne at the weekend, the scoring could have been markedly different.
“The first 20 minutes they were all over us and hit the post twice, so we rode our luck,” he said.
“Then we found our feet and hit the post twice and their keeper pulled off four great saves.
“There was one from point-blank range and three that were right in the corner, but he got to them.
“Our keeper pulled off a decent save himself and although it was 0-0 at half-time it could have been four each. Although they had the better of the game they couldn’t have complained with that scoreline.
“In the second half we conceded possession in midfield and they scored their first, and then they had their tails up and got another within a couple of minutes.
“We started to weather the storm and had four good chances, but if it was on target then their keeper saved it.
“They hit us on the break to get their third, but if they had won 5-4 it would have been a fairer reflection.”
The result blows the title race wide open and Dearing believes top spot is Calne’s to lose following the weekend’s result.
“Calne have improved a lot and are the best team we’ve played by far,” he said.
“They have got the points on the board which makes them clear favourites, they are on a hell of a run.
“They beat Chippenham last week, us this week and I think they have been given three points for a game earlier in the season.
“We’re four games behind which is a bit disappointing but it’s nobody’s fault, but we have to win those four games just to get in front of them.”
In Division One, Madames run of league victories in 2012/13 was finally brought to an end after they drew 1-1 with Wroughton.
Elsewhere, rock-bottom Marlborough Town Reserves collected their first win of the season, a 2-1 win at home to Wilton.