STOURBRIDGE boss Ian Long is confident his search another striker will finally come to a successful conclusion this week.

The Glassboys kick off the new campaign when they go to Hitchin this Saturday.

Long is keen for his Southern League Central promotion-hopefuls to get off to a good start and has been working to add another hitman.

Stour completed their pre-season friendly programme with a 1-1 draw away at Nantwich last Saturday but the game only highlighted the need for more options in the final third.

Long said: "I didn't learn a great deal than we already know. We were fine up to the final third and I don't think we'd have scored if it wasn't for a goalkeeper mistake.

"It is a problem we have already identified and I'm confident we're going to get someone in before the season starts on Saturday.

"We have been scoring against the step five sides that we have faced but have struggled against the other sides we came up against in pre-season.

"We have a number of irons in the fire and a number of options we are looking at and I'll be disappointed if something doesn't get done.

"The game showed us again what we are lacking and everyone has been working very hard behind the scenes to get what we need.

"We have had to be patient but it's all about making sure we get the one we want. It's a key area.

"The game against Nantwich gave us another good run out but showed we're still not quite where we need to be. We have a few more training sessions now and then it'll be good to start playing games when there is a lot more at stake.

"We are looking good in most departments and it's important we get as many points on the board as we can early on.

"We don't want to be chasing other teams, we want to be setting the pace ourselves.

"It's also important to get off to a good start because we are a new side that is looking to gel. Wins will only help with that and help build confidence in what we are doing."

Brad Birch remains sidelined with a knee injury and the clash will come too soon for Jake Evans. Midfielder Mike McGrath has also left the War Memorial Ground.