BRANTHAM Athletic joint-boss Michael Brothers has praised the loyalty and commitment of midfielder Craig Hughes.

The Imps’ set-piece specialist has turned down the chance to join a step three club.

A seven-day approach came in but, after taking time to mull it over, Hughes has decided to stay put and nail his colours to the Brantham mast.

“It’s great news, from our point of view,” said Brothers, who runs the side with Matt Carmichael.

“Craig’s a football man and I know he was tempted, which is completely understandable given that it was an opportunity to move two levels up the non-league pyramid.

“However, to our pleasant surprise, he came back and said he wanted to stay.

“He knows he’s part of our project here and he said he’s committed, both on and off the pitch.

“He’s settled in well since joining us in the summer and he wants to be part of a new era at Brantham - hopefully one where we take the club into the Bostik League.”

Hughes has established himself as a key players at the Leisure Centre.

In addition to chipping in with goals, his corners and set-pieces have proved a vital part of his side’s armoury.

“Craig’s experienced and has a winning mentality, both in training and matches,” added Brothers.

“His qualities in the dressing room and around the club are a vital part of what we’re trying to achieve.

“He’s the best set-piece taker in the area and definitely capable of playing at a higher level, so we’re lucky to have him.” Meanwhile, Brothers confirmed that striker Ollie Mann has rejoined Essex and Suffolk Border League side Lawford Lads.

Brantham’s winning ways continued as they prevailed 3-2 at Wroxham, in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division on Saturday. The Imps are third in the table - three points behind second-placed Stowmarket Town, who grabbed a late winner to beat Stanway Rovers 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Sam Newson and Sean Gunn netted early goals to put Brantham in control at Wroxham, who then staged a fightback to make it 2-2.

However, Ben Newson stepped off the bench to grab a late winner.

“It was another great result,” added Brothers.

“At 2-2, it could have gone either way but we showed real character and determination to get the winner.”

Brantham have no game this weekend but visit Walsham-le-Willows in the Suffolk Premier Cup next Wednesday.

Their next league fixture is away to Ely City next Saturday.

“We’re not going to train this weekend,” said Brothers.

“It’s been a really busy period with lots of travelling, so we’re giving the players a well-earned Saturday off.”