HELLENIC LEAGUE: Keeper Stevens signs for Highworth

Swindon Advertiser: Highworth boss John Fisher Highworth boss John Fisher

KEEPER Gary Stevens has ended his time between the sticks at Hellenic League Division One West side Purton after agreeing to join Highworth, writes CHRISTOPHER PANKS.

The 24-year-old was the target of a seven-day approach by Shepton Mallet last month, but opted to stay with the Red House side who he joined from Radstock in the summer.

Seven clean sheets this season attracted the attention of Highworth boss John Fisher and the lure of moving up to the Hellenic Premier proved too difficult to resist for Stevens.

The stopper said: “I was really enjoying it at Purton and I think I've been playing well. The Highworth move came out of the blue really.

“In the end it's going to be great for me to test myself in the Premier Division and that's why I couldn't turn it down. I want to play at the highest level possible.”

Stevens, who could make his debut in the local derby at home to Wootton Bassett tomorrow, has been tipped to play at an even higher level by Purton boss Chris Pethick.

“Gary's performances have been excellent this year,” he said.

“Highworth have offered him a higher level of football and he's taken it. He's more than capable to play at that level and he's ambitious.

“I think he'll go higher than that and I wouldn't be surprised to see him play at Southern League level, and I think that's what he wants to do.”

Purton face a big test of their mettle tomorrow when they take on league leaders Tytherington.

Meanwhile, New College will face Old Woodstock fresh off the back of the bad news that Grant White will miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

The central midfielder has sustained ACL and MCL damage and will hope to make his return to football some time in the 2014/15 campaign.

College boss Rob Hopkins said: “Grant won’t play again until next season, but hopefully he will be alright for August or September-time.

“The younger you are the better it is because the body tends to recover a bit quicker.

“Doctors tend to give you the worst-case scenario when they give you a timescale, so we’ll see what happens.”

College have no other injury concerns for the home clash with Woodstock, who have just named Jason Ludlow as their new manager after Clint Ross quit.

Elsewhere in the division, lowly Malmesbury face a tough task as they take on high-flying Shortwood reserves.

Mike Solan is back from holiday while Vics have brought in new signings Aaron Welland and Chris Price.

Terry Moore is sidelined through injury.

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