SCORING sensation Carl Stewart is returning to his old stamping ground after signing for Tadcaster Albion.
The 24-goal forward, joint top scorer in the Northern Counties East League premier division, has left second-placed Bridlington Town to return to Ings Lane.
Stewart departed manager Paul Marshall’s squad in March last year, moving to Pickering Town before joining the seasiders in August.
But, living near York and unsettled by the travelling to the east coast, he has opted to come back to the Brewers, who are seventh in the league table.
That represents a huge boost for Marshall, whose side have not given up on their promotion ambitions despite trailing leaders Scarborough Athletic by 17 points.
In a message on the Bridlington Town fans’ forum website, Stewart said: “I would just like to say a massive thanks to everybody at the club for their support during my time at Brid and wish the team all the best for the rest of the season.”
Bridlington manager Mitch Cook told reporters he believed the player would be receiving more money at Tadcaster.
That was disputed by Marshall, who said Stewart was on the same deal as he had enjoyed at Bridlington.
“It is a brilliant signing for us,” said the Tadcaster boss.
“I saw him in the Ainsty (pub) last Sunday and I was just joking with him and saying ‘I’m going to put in a seven-day approach for you’. I was winding him up.
“He came back to me and said ‘what can you offer?’ I offered him terms and he said he wanted to come back.
“The travelling was a problem and he is fed up of it. We are paying him exactly the same as he was on at Bridlington.
“He gets on with all the players and he said he misses the banter.
“It’s the environment he wants to come back to.”
Added the Albion manager: “It is brilliant news for Tadcaster. It’s massive for the club to have signed the league’s joint top scorer. Everyone is desperate to get on and this might be the catalyst we need to move up the league.”
Stewart has been a persistent threat in front of goal in recent seasons, his 20-plus goal spree this year already matching a similar haul he amassed last season.
The striker scored seven goals in three games after joining Pickering in March and then grabbed nine in his first ten games for Bridlington.
Stewart was set to make his return against Parkgate at home last night, but he was denied his chance when the game was called off after an afternoon inspection.