STRIKER Richard Gregory has left Stratford Town to join local rivals Leamington.
The move was always going to be a tempting one for Gregory, with the Brakes riding high at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division as they target a return to National League North.
Town boss Carl Adams has now lost four players to local rivals this season.
Jordan Cullinane-Liburd, Mike Taylor and Dior Angus all left the club to sign for Redditch, although Taylor has since returned to Stratford.
But the loss of Gregory, who has scored 12 times this season, is the salt in the wound and leaves Town short of striking options ahead of a crucial run of games over Christmas.
Adams said: “We can’t compete with Leamington in a financial sense — it’s like Chelsea going in for a Bournemouth player.”
Gregory, who scored 78 times in 120 games for Town, netted his final goal for the club in last Monday’s Birmingham Senior Cup success over Coventry City.
Town supporters won’t have to wait long for a reunion – Stratford head to Leamington on Boxing Day for a league fixture.