the npl

Experienced striker Liam Hardy signs

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Experienced striker Liam Hardy signs

We are delighted to announce the signing of prolific marksman Liam Hardy.

Club officials worked tirelessly all day to secure the deal which was confirmed with just a minute left prior to the 5pm cut off point on Transfer Deadline Day.

Hardy has been a constant thorn in Matlock’s side over the years, particularly with neighbours Buxton, Hardy scoring hat-tricks in two successive league visits with the Bucks. He is Buxton’s second highest all time scorer having netted 135 goals for the Silverlands outfit.

Doncaster-based Hardy, 36, won the Golden Boot Award in 2017/18 while with the Bucks. Earlier in his career he scored 46 times in a season for Armthorpe Welfare in the Northern Counties East League. Hardy has the unusual statistic of having made four debuts for Buxton and has also featured at Darlington and Harrogate Town.

More recently, Hardy was at Hyde United and Grantham Town before last season playing a leading role as Worksop Town lifted the NPL Eastern Division title, losing only one league game. Hardy spent 18 months with the Tigers, hitting 28 goals in 61 appearances.

Shirebrook Town was his next port of call at the start of the current season but he was soon back in the NPL Premier Division, joining Gainsborough Trinity. Then he joined Liversedge and was on a dual registration agreement with NCEL outfit Rossington Main

Yates has been on the receiving end of Hardy’s scoring exploits against Matlock in recent years and is both relieved and delighted that he is now wearing Matlock colours.

He said: “Everyone knows we need extra firepower up there, we need that extra striker as the only out and out striker we have at present is Scott Boden. Liam fits the bill for what we need, he’s been around for years, I know him well from having faced him.

"His record speaks for itself, he knows where the back of the net is. He’ll be a great addition to the squad and a great influence in the dressing room. We’re trying to get as far up that table as we can in the remaining games and Liam will help us do that.”

Hardy’s debut is expected to be against Marine at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Saturday.

Yates and fellow joint boss Mark Atkins have been busy this week in bringing in loanee Jack Degruchy from Doncaster Rovers and calling back midfielder Andrew Wright from his loan at Long Eaton United.

*Photo by Lewis Pickersgill