LONG serving midfielder Lee Downes left Stafford Rangers for a second time this week in order to play regular first team football, writes Dave McLean.
Downes, who returned to Marston Road last summer for a second spell, started this season as captain and has been first choice on the teamsheet for best part of the campaign.
However the player, who first made his Rangers debut in 2002 and is just short of 200 appearances for the club, had not started the last four league games and this week departed for play-off hopefuls Rushall Olympic.
Ironically, Downes’ final Boro start was against the Pics in the recent Walsall Senior Cup quarter final clash.
Although he could not guarantee Downes regular football, Rangers boss Greg Clowes praised the service the 30- year-old had given the club.
“I have a lot of respect for Lee for what he has done for me, but he felt he needed to move on.
“He has served the club well and I understand him when he says he needs to play regularly,” said Clowes.
Downes was one of two players departing Marston Road this week, the other being defender Christian Smith who was the subject of a seven-day approach from Conference premier strugglers AFC Telford.
This Saturday, Rangers entertain Whitby Town in the league (3pm).