SCOTT BARTLETT has an eye for a non-league gem and former Cirencester Town hot-shot Ben Whitehead could follow in the footsteps of Bristol City striker Matty Taylor after joining Weston-super-Mare on a two-year contract.

Whitehead, 25, joins the Southern League Premier Division outfit having plundered 86 goals in 87 appearances for Cirencester in two prolific seasons.

The new Weston boss discovered Taylor plying his trade in the Southern League for North Leigh in 2011, after scoring 80 goals in 92 games, and brought him to the New Lawn before his subsequent move to Bristol Rovers.

On his new signing, a delighted Bartlett told the Weston-super-Mare website: "There was a lot of competition for Ben’s signature so I am delighted we have got him.

“He is a good player, is at a good age and is hungry to do well.

“I have seen him several times over the past two seasons, he is exactly what we are after and will be a good fit for us.

“His goal record speaks for itself but he brings more than just goals.

“He is quick, has clever movement, he works hard and is decent in the air.

“I am delighted to have him and am looking forward to working with him.”

Whitehead held talks with National League North outfit Gloucester City, but felt Weston was the right fit.

"I’m delighted to sign for the club," Whitehead told the Weston club website.

“After speaking to Scott about the plans he and the club have it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Cirencester for the last two years.

“I’m now looking forward to the new challenge and hope I can create and score goals to get the club back to where it belongs along with my new team-mates.”

Whitehead started his career with Oxford United up until the age of 16, before joining Swindon Town. He spent the 2012 summer training with National League North side Oxford City, but eventually joined Southern League South & West  Abingdon United.

In January 2013, the forward moved on to Abingdon’s divisional rivals Swindon Supermarine, netting nine goals in 40 appearances for the side.

In November 2013, Whitehead  joined Didcot Town and his performances led to Southern League Premier Division side Banbury United signing him in October 2014.

In February 2015, Whitehead moved to Southern League South & West team Wantage Town, making 45 appearances, scoring 25 goals and four assists.

In January 2016, Whitehead made the step up a league, signing for Southern League Premier side Chippenham Town.

Whitehead returned to Southern League South & West club Didcot Town in the summer of 2016, scoring 24 goals in 45 games.

Whitehead moved to Didcot’s divisional rivals Cirencester Town, where he really started to make a name for himself in the Southern League under boss Charlie Griffin.

In the 2017-2018 season, he made 49 appearances, scoring 47 goals and claiming ten assists as Cirencester made a late surge for the  play-offs, however they fell short, but Whitehead finished joint-top scorer for the league on 43 goals.

In 2018-2019, the striker continued his rich vein of goal-getting, hitting 39 goals in 38 games, as Cirencester reached the Southern League Division One South play-offs as he bagged the golden boot for a second year running, with 31 league goals.