Hednesford Town hoping Leroy Lita can light up season’s run-in

He enjoyed the perfect debut, and Hednesford Town are excited to see what former Premier League man Leroy Lita can come up with this weekend.

Hednesford striker Leroy Lita
Hednesford striker Leroy Lita

The Pitmen pulled off a coup as they snapped up Lita, who had spells in the top flight with both Reading and Swansea City, at the back end of last week.

He made an immediate impact by bagging a hat-trick in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win against Stourbridge, rewarding boss Keenen Meakin-Richards’ patience in landing the 37-year-old. Meakin-Richards now hopes the veteran striker can follow it up at Coalville Town tomorrow.

“We’ve been waiting for someone of his pedigree for a long time,” said Meakin-Richards.

“We played against Leroy twice while he was at Stratford Town, and I watched him for them against Stourbridge. I knew that he was definitely someone who could add to us on and off the pitch.

“What surprised me when we played against him was seeing how fit he still is, how he gets around the pitch. But he also knows when to run and when not to run. The other night, he was fantastic at that.

“His first two against Stourbridge were poacher’s finishes. That’s a skill in itself, knowing where to be and when.

“With the likes of Chay Tilt, George Cater and Riley O’Sullivan here, they need someone to look up to and gain experience from.

“It’ll only help them. We’re the fifth or six top scorers in the league, so adding a bit more experience in there, hopefully that’ll help us score even more.”

Lita is a former England Under-21 international and also played for Middlesbrough along with having loan spells at Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton.

The Pitmen, who are ninth in the Southern Central Premier, hope his knowhow can give them the edge against second-placed Coalville.

“We’re just looking to finish as high as we can,” added Meakin-Richards.

“In our first year as a group, we want to set a marker and build for next season. We’re full of confidence and tend to play well against the big boys.

“We can beat anyone on our day, and with Leroy, hopefully he can grab one or two.”

Also in the division, Stourbridge are aiming to bounce back against Alvechurch while third-placed Rushall Olympic travel to St Ives Town.

In National League North, Kidderminster Harriers are at Bradford Park Avenue.

Stafford Rangers host Grantham Town in the Northern Premier.

In Northern One Midlands, title rivals Chasetown and Halesowen Town face Carlton Town and Histon respectively. Sporting Khalsa face Soham Town Rangers.

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