BROMSGROVE Sporting boss Paul Smith believes the club have issued a huge signal of intent by signing Stafford Rangers striker Richard Gregory on a permanent basis.

Gregory had previously featured for Sporting back in August when on loan from Stafford Rangers and was dual registered for both clubs.

The striker returned to Sporting's ranks last Wednesday when he scored in the FA Vase replay against Coventry United.

But a deal was reached with Stafford the following day for Gregory to remain with Sporting on a full time basis.

Smith said: "I have to thank Stafford Rangers manager Neil Kitching for allowing us to use Richard against Coventry United.

Sutton Coldfield based Gregory has previously featured for the likes of Stratford Town, Rugby Town, Rushall Olympic and Coleshill Town and a delighted Smith said: "Richard has been unlucky with Stafford owing to the fact he got injured during pre-season and Neil Kitching had been looking to get him out on loan.

"He's a real strong striker and a massive fillip for the club, especially as it follows hard on the heels of signing Drew Canavan from Stourbridge.

"They are two massive captures and it's great that both of them have bought into what we are trying to do at Sporting."

But Smith doesn't intend to stop there.

He hopes to have a third new signing in place ahead of this Saturday's trip to Lye Town and confirmed: "I'm looking to have a central midfield player on board. I'd arranged to speak to a couple of players early in the week, but that got postponed owing to the bad weather.

"I am optimistic of signing one of them before Saturday as it is an area I still want to strengthen."

The Rouslers duly booked a trip to Eastern Counties League side Wisbech Town on January 6 after finally overcoming Coventry United in an epic FA Vase replay that was ultimately decided on a penalty shoot-out.

Smith insisted: "We fully deserved to go through over the two games - but I must admit it was an unbelievable contest and something that I've not experienced before.

"There was a huge wind blowing down the middle of the pitch which we had advantage of in the first half and duly built a 3-0 lead, which didn't flatter us at all.

"We then held them out for a good half hour in the second half until they pulled a goal back on 79 minutes. From that point, we became nervy and fell apart as Coventry went onto equalise with almost the last kick of the 90 minutes.

"They celebrated at that point as though they'd already won the game - but there was still extra time to go.

"It was end to end from that point and then the dreaded penalties, something which we haven't been good at, especially as we lost a penalty shoot-out to Littleton only the previous week, but this time we came good.

"It doesn't get any easier going to Wisbech, but I've warned all my players to forget about the FA Vase for the time being. We've got some very important league games coming up against Lye Town and Shawbury before we face Worcester City in a double header over Christmas."

Sporting are due to entertain Dudley Town next Tuesday in the Worcestershire Senior Urn but Smith has already confirmed he will be utilising his squad for the game.