STRIKER Steven Craig has joined Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Stafford Rangers on a one-month loan deal.

The 35-year-old former Wycombe Wanderers frontman has struggled for game-time and goals since signing for Worcester City last summer.

After an injury plagued start to the campaign, Craig scored his first goal for the club at Gainsborough Trinity in December.

But he has failed to kick on as he missed a penalty in City’s goalless draw against FC United of Manchester earlier this month.

The vastly-experienced Scot was also an unused substitute last Saturday as 16th placed Worcester drew 0-0 at Alfreton Town.

And Heeley revealed Manchester-based Craig, who has made 10 outings for City this term, “expressed his desire” to go out on loan.

“I have sent Steven to Stafford Rangers for a month because he is travelling a long way and he hasn’t had many opportunities,” Heeley said.

“He just needs to get some games and as we will have Lee Hughes back available (from his suspension) after Saturday’s game, it needed to happen.

“We will monitor it at the end of the month, but Steven expressed his desire to go out and get regular games of football and that’s fine by us.”

Worcester-born Joe Bates also looked set to go back out on loan to Bishop’s Cleeve.

But Craig’s move appears to have opened up an opportunity for 18-year-old to return to the match-day squad for City’s trip to Gloucester City on Saturday (3pm).

“Long-term we are looking to send Joe back out on loan to get regular football but we have to get the timing right based on our availability,” Heeley added.