ST Ives Town have sold striker Conor Washington to Blue Square Bet Premier Division promotion chasers Newport County for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old striker spent the weekend with the Justin Edinburgh-managed Welsh club and passed a medical on Sunday before signing a contract this morning (Monday).

Saints joint manager Jez Hall said: "Justin Edinburgh was interested when he was the manager of Rushden & Diamonds and Conor has had a few advisors in recent weeks and the word got to Justin that he was available - and it all kicked in to place.

"Conor wants to be a professional footballer - and should be a professional footballer."

Washington almost left Westwood Road during the summer after scoring an incredible 52 goals in 50 games for the club in the Premier Division of the United Counties League last season.

He had trials with Peterborough United and Dagenham & Redbridge but then failed a medical at Cambridge United which halted their interest.

During that medical it was thought there might be a small problem with the cartilage in his left knee and that he would need an operation.

The player has not so far had an operation and in eight league games this season he has scored a further 11 goals with St Ives currently undefeated and top of the table.

Newport County, who are currently second in the Blue Square Bet Premier division behind Forest Green Rovers, will play Cambridge United at home on November 6.

Meanwhile, the void left by the player at Westwood Road will be massive. He has been the best striker in the UCL for the past two seasons - though managers Hall and Warren Everdell did well to bring in Karl Gibbs from Peterborough Northern Star during the summer. The new man is also in a rich vein of form at the moment.

Still, it won't be the same, going to a St Ives match without the tantalising possibility of seeing something special from Washington, who scored five goals in his first two UCL games this season.

"We all feel the same. He is worth the admission price on his own sometimes," said Hall. "But we should be thankful that we seen what we have from him.

"He was a brilliant scorer in the under-18s and made the step up look easy.

"We always knew he was going to move at some stage and I wouldn't be surprised if he was in the first team squad at Newport quite soon."