THE deal has been confirmed. Reece Styche has moved to Alfreton Town. The player who did so much for the club both on and off the pitch last season has departed for pastures new and we now need to move on.

A lot has been said and written about the club’s decision and I’m sure as we move in to AGM season for both the club and the supporter’s group, there will be more to discuss.

The Styche move has to a degree taken some of the attention away from the side having won two games in a row – something we hadn’t done since last season.

Saturday’s 1-0 win over a Boston side sitting fourth in the league will probably not go down in the annals of entertaining games, but it was a significant improvement on the run of listless 1-0 defeats at Blackwell Meadows which went before it. Like the win at FC United of Manchester the week before, there were elements that could definitely be improved upon but what’s far more important is there are some obvious green shoots of recovery which provide me with optimism for our fortunes on the pitch in the coming weeks.

While our form has been a bit hit in miss since the since the start of September, what has become apparent is a significant tightening up of our defence. In the league, we have conceded three goals in five games and kept three clean sheets, conceding a maximum of one goal in any given game. In the month of August, there was only one game out of seven where we didn’t concede two or more.

Conceding goals has been a problem of ours since we were promoted in to this league, but as we saw last season when our form turned around, having a solid defence to build on can allow the fortunes of the whole team to turn around. Not conceding two goals a game takes a huge pressure off the attacking players allowing them to express themselves more effectively.

In those five league games Liam Hughes has played in the centre of defence. His move to the defence has worked out brilliantly. For me, we have been crying out for an experienced centre half with Football League experience to lead our defence. As a midfielder, Hughes wouldn’t have fitted the bill had we gone out to find that player, but his coronation in the role has been a huge boost to Tommy Wright considering the lack of wiggle room in either his budget or squad composition.

I’ll be the first to admit that I had reservations about Hughes the midfielder, however I am delighted for the lad’s transition in to the player we have desperately needed. His partnership with Terry Galbraith is still developing but for me it will be a keystone to this side improving as the season goes on.

The inclusion of Luke Trotman as third centre half against Boston added further stability at the back and a bit of pace. I was impressed with how easily we transitioned to that system having struggled with it in the past. I’m not a massive fan of three at the back, but it gave us a really solid look while it allowed us to get three guys in to the middle of the park which I thought worked well.

Those three in the middle allowed us to battle hard but it also gave us the extra body when in possession to shift the ball around a bit easier than in previous weeks. I wouldn’t be disappointed if I saw a similar set up when the teams are announced at Leamington on Saturday. With a handful of fixtures coming up that we shouldn’t be fearful of, if we can remain tight at the back, there is every chance we could extend our winning streak.