GREAT Wakering Rovers have completed the coup signing of George Purcell.

Purcell, who started the season with neighbours Canvey Island, has joined from Isthmian North rivals Grays Athletic.

And player-manager Steve Butterworth is overjoyed to have the striker on board.

“It’s a fantastic signing for us and George wanted to come here,” said Butterworth.

“He wants to get back to enjoying his football and scoring more goals because he has scored 12 in all competitions this season and he would have expected more at this stage.

“George knows Martin Tuohy, who is my player-assistant manager, from their time together at Hornchurch and they are good friends.

“He has taken a pay cut to join us and now we hope he will enjoy the kind of form he had during his successful stint with Hornchurch.”

Despite the arrival of Purcell, Wakering are facing an injury crisis this weekend.

Wakering will welcome fellow Isthmian North play-off chasers Histon to Burroughs Park tomorrow.

But Butterworth revealed the hosts are set to be without a number of key players.

“Kojo Apenteng scored in our friendly against Chelmsford City in midweek, but he then suffered a hamstring injury and I can’t see him being fit for the weekend,” added Butterworth.

“Billy Johnson also picked up an injury at Grays Athletic last weekend and he won’t be included in the squad, so that is two wide players I will be without.

“It’s bad timing because Alfie Hilton, another winger, only left the club last week.

“There are also defensive worries because Connor Martin is out for the next couple of games.

“We didn’t know how serious the injury was when he went down but he has ruptured his ankle.

“That’s another blow and we have gone from having 19 players available last weekend to, at this stage, only 13.”

Wakering are currently four points adrift of the top five, in eighth place, ahead of facing 10th-placed Histon.

And Butterworth is seeking retribution after an 11-minute spell to forget saw Wakering consigned to a 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture.

“Histon are the only team that have slapped us this season,” admitted Butterworth.

“They won 4-1 but, on the whole, we battered them.

“All four of their goals came in the space of 11 minutes and it was difficult to digest at the time.

“I still don’t understand what happened in that spell.”