Cornard United have appointed a new management team in a bid to lift the club from the foot of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.
Ryan Lines, who was Stanway Rovers Reserves manager last season, and Liam Aves, manager of Halstead Town Reserves, joined the Blackhouse Lane club at the weekend.
On Saturday, following the 3-0 home defeat by King’s Lynn Town Reserves, manager Jack Wignall and coach Daniel Crompton were dismissed.
Wignall had been joint manager with Chris Tracey from the start of the season, having previously been Tracey’s assistant. He was promoted to manager when Tracey stepped down earlier this month.
Club chairman Harvey Doherty said: “After Chris Tracey decided to resign the club decided to have a complete new start following the poor start to this season.”
The optimism of pre-season, when Tracey talked about eying a top five finish, has long since dissipated, as Cornard sit bottom of the First Division, with just one point from their first eight games. The Ards have scored four goals and conceded 27.
After five seasons of bottom two finishes, two 15th place finishes in the last two seasons, with last season’s points tally of 47 the club’s highest in eight years, all pointed to a turnaround in fortunes. But Cornard have so far failed to maintain that progress.
Doherty added: “We would like to thank Chris Tracey, Jack Wignall and Daniel Crompton for their hard and dedicated work over the past two years.”
Tracey and Wignall joined the club in September 2015 after manager Paul Grainger stepped down.
At Stanway, Lines led the team a Thurlow Nunn Reserve League and Chell Cup double last season.
The new management team have been working with the players in training this week, and get their first taste of league action on Saturday when mid-table Swaffham Town are the visitors to Blackhouse Lane (3pm).
The club’s only victory so far this season came in the League KO Cup first round when the Ards beat Team Bury 5-2 on September 12. In the FA Vase, they were beaten 2-0 at Ilford in the first round qualifying.
The club’s solitary league point came from the 2-2 home draw against Norwich United Reserves on August 12.
Since being relegated from the Premier Division in 1996 Cornard have managed just one top half finish.
n Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by leaders King’s Lynn Town Reserves followed an all too familiar pattern, with Cornard matching their opponents in the first half, falling away a little in the second, and producing just two threats on goal.
An 11th-minute cross from Sam Newton was clawed out from under the bar by Lynn ‘keeper Tommy Rix, and a fierce low shot from substitute Ezra Drann drew a diving save from Rix in the 56th minute.
Cornard too often gave their opponents room and time, and only good performances from defender Dave Dowding and keeper Dan Joyce, who made a number of excellent saves, kept the margin of defeat down.
Matty Dye gave Lynn a 30th-minute lead after Cornard lost possession in midfield. Harry Whayman was given time to pick his spot for the second after 48 minutes, and Dylan Edge had all the space he needed for the third after 63 minutes.