Hampton & Richmond Borough were snubbed last night as a deal to bring former Conference Premier goal-getter Moses Ashikodi to the club fell through.
The one-time Millwall and West Ham striker had seemed set to arrive in time to make his debut at the Beveree when Grays Athletic visit this weekend in the hope the current Antigua international could solve Hampton’s goalscoring issues.
But the club has confirmed the papers were left unsigned as the former York City striker, who had verbally agreed the switch and was expected at the Beveree on Thursday to complete the move, pulled out.
"Paul was expecting him to sign and he ended up going somewhere else," said a club spokesman.
"There is nothing on the league registration website to say he has signed.
"There has been no paperwork submitted as far as I am aware.
"It is a non story other than the fact we were talking to him and he did not sign."
Joint manager Paul Barry is fed up of being forced to rely on top scorer Charlie Moone, whose 19 goals in all competitions have kept the club’s season alive.
Hampton are giving a trial to former Kingstonian frontman Paul Vines and Barry, who had seemed confident of getting Ashikodi earlier in the week, says the forward-line needs a shake-up.
“We’ve brought Moses in and it’s hardly a secret why he is here,” said the Beveree joint boss on Wednesday.
“We need someone alongside Charlie to get some goals – for whatever reason, nobody else has managed to step up, so hopefully he can be the person that changes all that.
“Defensively we are getting there. We are creating chances, just not doing enough in front of goal.
“Moses is a top player, Darren Powell knows him very well and he has agreed to play for us. It’s great news.”
Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at struggling Thamesmead was a source of frustration for the club’s management team – and the late arrival of Moone only underlined how they have to find an alternative goal supply.
Moone missed kick-off after train chaos in London and his second-half introduction helped secure a point after Karle Carder's ball hit the back of Joe Turner’s head and went in.
After overcoming the sending off of Tom Hickey to defeat Billericay 2-1 at the New Lodge on Saturday – thanks to a Moone double – Barry was deflated after not winning against the struggling Mead.
“I think our issues can be best summed-up by the fact Joe, who got our goal on Tuesday, is our second highest scorer,” he added.
“His one at Thamesmead was his second of the season. It paints a clear picture.
“If we get it right at that end of the pitch there is no reason why we can’t still get into the play-offs.”
Updated 12:25 - 29 Nov 2013 by Ryan Allen