RADCLIFFE FC boss Jon Macken is hoping his second permanent signing will be just as successful as his first after completing a deal to bring Ashton United defender Tom Eckersley to the Neuven Stadium.

The 25-year-old centre-back, who has also played as a holding midfielder, started his career at Bolton, signing his first pro contract in 2010.

He moved to Accrington two years later, and has since dropped into non-league, playing for Tamworth, AFC Fylde, Stockport County and FC United, before moving to Ashton in the summer.

Macken moved for Eckersley after his young side gave away a two-goal advantage to draw 3-3 at Colne in Evo-Stik North on Saturday.

The manager’s only other signing, James Hooper, scored twice at Colne, bringing his tally to six goals – five in the last five matches.

But Boro’s inability to hang on for three points – being pegged back in stoppage time to register their fourth draw in the last five league matches – prompted his latest move into the transfer market.

“I want to improve the players here, give them every chance to develop under our coaching, rather than just bring in a raft of signings,” said Macken.

“I will only go into the transfer market if I feel the player in question can help bring our other players on. James has not just added goals he has helped bring goals out of the rest of the team.

“What we now need to help turn those draws into wins is to cut out the little mistakes. Tom brings experience to a young squad and his influence will be key to us.”

Eckersley will go straight into the team for Saturday’s match at Atherton Collieries.