New midfielder can kick-start our season

JARROW Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin is hoping new signing Keith Graydon will help kickstart his side's season.

Graydon joined the Roofers from Sunderland RCA this week, with goalkeeper Gary Hoggeth moving in the opposite direction.

And after easing through his debut against Whickham on Wednesday night in a comfortable 5-1 Durham Challenge Cup win, Graydon is set for an important role between now and the end of the season as Roofing bid to make an immediate return to the top flight of the Northern League.

McLoughlin is hoping that Graydon – who has had spells at Gateshead and Durham City after being released by Sunderland as a junior – can form a successful midfield partnership with Stuart Dixon.

Dixon returns to the side for tomorrow's game at bottom side Darlington RA, as does striker Eifion Williams, but there will be few other changes after McLoughlin was impressed with the performances of some of his fringe players against Whickham.

He said: "Graydon has been out injured for three or four weeks, so I told him to just go in and take it easy.

"He's someone who can put his foot on the ball in midfield, and create for the forwards, which I think we've been missing a bit.

"I think he'll link up well with Dixon in the midfield, and it frees Paul Catto up to go to left-back, and hopefully solve that problem for us."

The majority of Roofing's concerns have been at the back, and McLoughlin is keeping his eye on the possibility of signing a defender with Division One experience to help bolster the rearguard.

But despite the sharp attacking football his side has played of late, the Roofing supremo is still on the lookout for another striker.

For now, though, he has an abundance of attacking riches at his disposal, with Craig Tate – who hit two goals on Wednesday – likely to partner Williams up front tomorrow.

Another frontman, Chris Archer, is missing, but Kevin Davison continues to look sharp, while young winger Andy Hall impressed against Whickham. Ryan Dunn, however, picked up a foot injury in that game.

McLoughlin added: "Darlington are bottom of the league, so it's one of those games where we have to be careful. We can't afford to slip up."