Ridgeons round-up: New buyer in for Cornard

Chris Symes, Cornard United owner, at the ground ahead of England Under-21s training on the club's Blackhouse Lane pitch on Thursday morning.
Chris Symes, Cornard United owner, at the ground ahead of England Under-21s training on the club's Blackhouse Lane pitch on Thursday morning.
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CORNARD United manager Chris Symes has said he expects to finally sell the club in the New Year after revealing a fresh buyer has come in with an acceptable offer.

Following two ultimately unsuccessful attempts to relinquish the ownership in the last two years, including London-based businessman Rob Batten pulling out at the 11th hour earlier this season, Symes believes it will be third time lucky with the fresh bid.

“I have had a tentative enquiry but I am still waiting for some documentation to come through,” he said. “I am confident I will sell it in the New Year.

“I cannot say who it is and I have learned from my mistakes with letting someone run the club and getting bored after three months before it has all gone through.”

In the meantime, Symes has sold £2,000 worth of the 40,000 shares priced at £1 each (with the ground itself owned by Cornard Parish Council) since turning the club into a limited company, meaning it is all set for a speedy sale this time around.

On the pitch, Cornard narrowly lost 2-1 at Cambridge University Press on Saturday, with captain James Beckett scoring a scorcher from 25 yards to equalise in the first half before their opponents snatched the win with a goal after the break.

And Symes, whose side host fellow strugglers Swaffham Town (five losses from last six) on Saturday (3pm), is upbeat about the remaining fixtures before Christmas.

“We really acquitted ourselves well on Saturday and we are optimistic about this weekend,” he said.

A full-strength side is available as Symes looks to pull away from the dangerzone before bottom side Stowmarket Town take advantage of their three games in hand, being now only two points off Cornard’s tally.

l CORNARD United’s festive fixtures with local rivals Long Melford and Halstead Town have both been moved. Cornard will now play at Long Melford’s Stoneylands at 1pm on Decemeber 27, 24 hours later than scheduled, at Melford’s request, and will host Halstead on January 3, instead of January 2 as originally planned, at Blackhouse Lane (7.45pm).

l Long Melford will host Suffolk and Ipswich League side Achilles in the quarter-final of the Suffolk Senior Cup on January 7 (1.30pm) with the Villagers potentially two wins from a Portman Road final.