Ex-Chester favourite signs for Witton

11:59am Wednesday 2nd July 2014

By Andrew Simpson

WITTON have completed the signing of midfielder Iain Howard following his release by Stockport County.

The 26-year-old wide man met his new teammates during Albion’s first pre-season training session at Moss Farm in Northwich last night, Tuesday.

He is likely to be a direct replacement for Josh Hancock, who finished as joint leading scorer for Brian Pritchard’s team as they successfully avoided relegation from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s top flight last season.

Howard knows where the net is, scoring nine times for County in the Football Conference’s northern division last season.

He reached double figures too in each of three title-winning terms with Chester before switching to Edgeley Park.

Albion have also added versatile defender Sam Barnes to their squad.

He finished last season with Marine after helping Hednesford to promotion via the play-offs the previous year.

Now 22, he made more than 70 appearances for the Crosby-based club in the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division across two spells.

Barnes, who can play at right back or in the centre of defence, is a replacement for Rob Bodie following his decision to leave Wincham Park.

The former Clitheroe back-marker is expected to join Skelmersdale.

Pritchard has now added five new signings since the end of last season following the arrival of goalkeeper Chris Sanna and left back Michael Lea, both from Colwyn Bay, and Congleton Town striker Michael Koral.

Meanwhile Ally Brown, released by Witton this summer, announced he has agreed terms with Droylsden.

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