BEN Hinchliffe will take over from James Spencer as Northwich Victoria’s number one next season.

The Preston-born goalkeeper is manager Andy Preece’s first signing of the summer after making the move from Evo-Stik League Division One North club Bamber Bridge.

“He’s an ambitious lad who wants to do well for us,” said the Northwich boss.

“I said earlier in the week that I felt that with the budget as it is we could go with a less experienced keeper and spend the money better elsewhere in the squad.

“I think it’s the right decision.”

Hinchliffe, 22, had spells at Vics’ league rivals Kendal Town and Preece’s former club Worcester City last term before returning to Lancashire.

He is no stranger to the Victoria Stadium too after playing there for Oxford United in a Football Conference clash in 2008.

An apprentice at his home town club Preston North End, Hinchliffe spent a season at then Premier League club Derby County before dropping down to non-league three years ago.

His arrival confirms the departure of 26-year-old Spencer, who was the club’s longest serving player after Wayne Riley.

The ex-Rochdale custodian moves on after making close to 70 starts in a two-years stay.