Gladiators sign two strikers

14 January 2012.....    Guiseley v Stalybridge Celtic, FA Trophy 3rd round'Lions Lee Ellington
14 January 2012..... Guiseley v Stalybridge Celtic, FA Trophy 3rd round'Lions Lee Ellington

Matlock Town have signed two strikers ahead of their 2012/13 season.

The Gladiators first summer signing is Bradley Grayson, 19, from Frickley Athletic.

Formerly with Doncaster Rovers, Grayson has been a long-term target for Matlock.

And manager Mark Atkins has also signed veteran frontman Lee Ellington, who began his career with Hull City and played for Guiseley last season.

Ellington, 32, played 24 times for Hull and scored twice before he had spells with Exeter City, Gainsborough Trinity, Stalybridge Celtic and Harrogate Town.

Atkins is keen to boost his firepower as the goal shy Gladiators finished as the third lowest scorers in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division last term, netting just 52 times in their 42 league games.

Ellington, cousin of former Wigan Athletic and Derby County striker Nathan Ellington, is seen as a major signing by the Gladiators.

Atkins said: “I know Lee well having been with him at Stalybridge for three seasons, he’s an excellent goalscorer and has done it all of his career in the league above

“We wanted him to partner Ross Hannah towards the end of his time with us but he wasn’t available so we couldn’t do it. But we’ve got him now, he’s a great signing for us and it’s a credit to everyone involved at the club in getting him here.”

Grayson, a product of the Doncaster Rovers youth academy, was on Atkins’ radar last season.

Atkins said: “I saw him three or four times last season, he’s young, hungry and quick and knows where the goal is. He impressed me. We’ve kept an eye on him and we would have liked to have brought him in last season but he was under contract at Frickley. I think he’ll give us that pace which we lacked.”

Atkins has spoken to a couple of players to fill the void left by the surprise departure of midfielder Liam King but also feels that existing players could fit the bill.

He said: “Liam going was a shock, towards the end of last season he played well with Kris Bowler. I’ve spoken to a couple of players but also believe that lads we have can do a good job there for us. We used Adam Yates in there a bit, he did well and we’ll use the pre season to see how he fares. Adam and the other lads will have the chance to show what they can do so I’m not worried at the moment.”