CIRENCESTER TOWN’S promotion prospects have received a major boost with the signing of former Wales U21 international Lee Fowler until the end of the season.

Fowler was released by Blue Square Premier table-toppers Oxford United this week and is expected to go straight into the Town starting line-up for the crunch game against Bridgwater tonight.

The sides are respectively third and fifth in the Zamaretto League Division 1 South and West. Fowler, still only 26, has enjoyed a nomadic career.

At his first club, Coventry City, a goal from 19-year-old Fowler helped Gary McAllister’s side dump Cardiff City out of the FA Cup at the third round stage, and it was his penalty shoot-out strike which saw Huddersfield win the Division 3 play-off final against Mansfield at the Millennium Stadium in May, 2004.

Town manager Brian Hughes said: “Lee has registered for us and goes straight into tonight’s team.

“I believe that he cannot play in the Conference having turned out already for two sides (Kettering and Oxford) this season, so his old mate Jason Welsh has convinced him to come and help our cause.

“I have been on the lookout for a midfielder of Lee’s type all season and, of course, with his pedigree it will give everyone around the club a lift.

Fowler said: “I felt I was being frozen out at Oxford and people have said to me why don’t I take a break and get started again next season. But I want to be playing football.

“Jason is mates with my brother (Forest Green player Mike) and he says Cirencester are a decent footballing side who are in with a shout of promotion.

“I’d like to think I can chip in with my experience. I am helping the manager and he’s helping me, so it works both ways.

“I live in Barry Island but it is a shorter journey to Cirencester than either Kettering or Oxford. And Jason said he will do the driving!” Since Fowler left Huddersfield Town in 2005, he has plied his trade for Scarborough, Burton Albion, Newport County and Forest Green Rovers, where he was an ever-present in the 2008-9 season.

Lee joined Kettering at the beginning of last season and made a bright start but, following the departure of manager Mark Cooper to Peterborough, he fell out of favour.

He signed for high-flying Oxford United in January but played just one competitive game – the FA Trophy win over Woking.

“I thought I played really well in that game but still I did not get picked again,” said Fowler.

The last time he pulled on an Oxford shirt was in February when he played in a behind-closed-doors 3-3 friendly draw at league side Wycombe Wanderers, where he lined up alongside former Cirencester Academy graduate Matt Green.