LEE CHILTON has returned to Alvechurch to become their third signing in as many weeks ahead of the festive fixtures.
Attacking midfielder Chilton, who played for Church in the days when Shaun Cunnington was manager, is back at Lye Meadow after signing from Sporting Khalsa.
He follows the capture of striker Tristan Dunkley from Tamworth, plus former West Bromwich Albion prospect Rahis Nabi who returns to the Midlands after an injury-hit time with Burnley U23s.
Chilton will add plenty of experience to Ian Long’s squad, having featured for Leamington, Stourbridge, Halesowen Town and Willenhall Town and comes into contention for Saturday’s Southern Premier Central trip to Royston Town.
Long has been keen to add to the Church numbers to keep them equipped for their play-off push.
Last weekend’s last-gasp 2-1 win at Lowestoft Town lifted them back into the top five in the table, one point behind third-placed Biggleswade Town. However, such is the congested nature of the league, that six points separate third and 12th places.
Church were indebted to Andre Carvalho-Landell’s last-minute winner in Suffolk after a wind-battered contest on Saturday.
The gales played a big part in the first goal for Lowestoft with a back-pass being held up and then Kieran Higgs firing home after nine minutes with the assistance of the wind to deceive keeper Matt Sargeant.
Jamie Willets levelled with a header from Tom Turton’s corner and another flag kick led to Willets flicking on and Carvalho-Landell nodded home.
Defensive rock Willets will be missing until the new year after undergoing groin surgery. He could be out for six to eight weeks.
Keeper Charlie Price is also recovering from an operation to remove a cyst on his back but midfielder Mitch Botfield (shin) should be fit for this weekend.
Saturday’s opponents Royston lie ninth in the table, three points behind Church, and they head into the game on the back of a 2-1 win at Redditch United on Saturday.