MIDFIELDER Marley Ridge has re-signed for Hartley Wintney from Hampshire rivals Gosport Borough, writes KEVIN O'BYRNE.

The 22-year-old was with the Row through the second half of last season, having originally joined on a short term loan from Havant and Waterlooville. He played an important part in helping the team achieve a top 10 finish.

Speaking about Ridge's return, Hartley Wintney manager, Anthony Millerick, said, “Marley is seeking more game time at the level and we’re delighted to have him back; we know his strengths as well as anyone. Marley will certainly provide a boost in midfield with his energy and willingness to drive forward, and will create a healthy competition for places.”

The 22-year-old midfielder came through the Havant and Waterlooville academy at South Downs College. Ridge signed a contract with the Hawks in 2015. He had loan spells with a number of clubs, after which he was handed his first league start for the Hawks early in season 2018/19 and gave a man of the match performance.

In the summer Ridge was recalled by Havant and Waterlooville but joined Gosport Borough earlier this season on loan.

He then signed full time for the south coast club on his release from the Hawks.

His return to Hartley Wintney comes on the heels of recent returnees Sam Argent, Mitchell Parker and Matt Drage, giving the squad a familiar look and a tangible boost in the depth of the playing staff.

Millerick added, “With the back load of games ever increasing, it is vital we have quality in depth in all departments to ensure we improve on our current league standing and are able to capitalise on our games in hand.”

This Saturday, the Row have a trip to Walton Casuals on Saturday and then on Tuesday evening (7.30pm) they have a home Hampshire derby game against Farnborough.