PAUL Stockton, chairman of 1874 Northwich, met his Winsford United counterpart Mark Loveless on Thursday to sign a ground share agreement between the two clubs.

Their signature ratifies a deal, announced last month, for the newly-formed club to host opponents at Barton Stadium for at least its first two seasons.

“We’re glad to be going there and Winsford are delighted to have us,” said Stockton.

“Let’s wait and see how things develop, but I’m sure both clubs are looking forward to a partnership that will benefit everybody.”

He was joined at Winsford by fellow 1874 Northwich board members Tony Fallows and James Wood.

Blues, currently fifth in the North West Counties League’s Premier Division, will provide the opposition in a first friendly for 1874 Northwich on a date to be arranged.

The clubs have agreed to share money made at the gate for the game too.

Meanwhile Winsford have been boosted by news that a Football Association inspector had recommended to the game’s governing body that Barton Stadium is fit to host games in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s second tier.

It means Lloyd Morrison’s men, should they finish in a promotion position at the end of the current campaign, will be permitted to play at a higher level from next season.

His side could come face-to-face with their tenants in a knockout competition after 1874 Northwich announced its application had been accepted to take part in the Mid Cheshire FA Senior Cup next term.