LEWIS Ward will be hoping for more game-time after joining League Two Forest Green Rovers on loan for the remainder of the season.

The Reading FC keeper had originally signed for Northampton Town on loan for the 2018/19 campaign.

But 21-year-old Ward returned to Madejski Stadium recently after just five appearances for League Two Cobblers, four of which came in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Royals Academy product Ward, who signed a new, two-year deal last summer, is now looking to kick-start his career with Rovers, who entertain Bury this Saturday.

“It’s good to be here now and I’m really grateful that it is done and dusted and I’m looking to kick on,” he said.

“I think there was some talk in the summer but it didn’t come off. I wasn’t playing at Northampton and the chance came up again to come here and I thought I’d give it a go.

“I played a lot of games last season in the National League which was crucial to get first team experience and I think ticking that box was done and waiting for the League move this year was the right decision.

“It didn’t pan out at Northampton but I’m hoping to get my chance here.”

Ward will fight it out with James Montgomery and Lewis Thomas for the keeper’s jersey.

The Reading stopped spent earlier loan spells with Aldershot, Hungerford Town, Sutton United, Margate and Icelandic club Fylkir.

Meanwhile, Reading boss Jose Gomes has been linked with Manchester United keeper Joel Pereira, with Vito Mannone looking increasingly likely to leave in the January transfer window.