JIM Cooper hopes Ryan Sammons will prove to be the ‘final piece of the defensive jigsaw’ as Grays Athletic aim to push for promotion.

Sammons has sealed a move to Grays from Bowers & Pitsea.

And Cooper is pleased to have signed the right-back, who also counts East Thurrock United among his former clubs.

The Grays boss said: “Ryan was a permanent fixture in Bowers’ promotion team last season and previously played for East Thurrock over 450 times.

“He brings a wealth of experience and I hope that he will be the final piece in the defensive jigsaw.”

However, Sammons was unable to stop Grays falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Felixstowe & Walton United on his debut.

Callum Bennett scored what proved to be the only goal of the Isthmian North encounter as he successfully converted a penalty with 11 minutes remaining.

Grays will be looking to bounce back from the setback at Felixstowe when they make the trip to Histon on Saturday.

Cooper’s side now find themselves two points adrift of the Isthmian North play-off places.