‘I’m not quitting,’ says Melford boss

LONG Melford manager Jason Maher says he is not on the verge of quitting the club despite rumours suggesting his exit from Stoneylands was imminent.

The Ridgeons League First Divison outfit saw off a potential banana skin by beating local rivals Sudbury Athletic 6-1 in the Suffolk Senior Cup on Saturday but have lost two thirds of their opening nine league matches ahead of hosting March Town United (5th) on Saturday (3pm).

But Maher, who took over the helm following Geoff Cleal’s sacking last December, said he is not about to follow his predecessor out of the club as he nears a year in the job, initially taken on a caretaker basis with Ady Perry.

“Yes, results have been disappointing but the board recognises we need everyone fit, we are not Hadleigh, we cannot go and get five players in, we are working on a small budget,” Maher said. “There is no truth in the rumour I am looking to quit.

“Things are not going to happen overnight here and I am the first one to be disappointed when it is not going well but I have never walked away from a club mid-season and I am certainly not going to start here.”

Melford (10th) have been boosted by the signing of 19-year-old Australian winger Rowland Auert, who has played for AFC Sudbury Reserves and Chelmsford Reserves but have seen midfielder Ashley Williams move up to the Premier Division with Hadleigh United, despite struggling to get a regular run of games at Stoneylands.

Cornard United (14th) will be looking to stop a miserable run of league form that has seen them lose four straight games, conceding 24 and only scoring one themselves, when they host Debenham LC (8th) at Blackhouse Lane on Saturday (3pm).

Halstead Town (fourth), whose players have recently been receiving coaching from ex-Ipswich Town and Norwich City coach Steve Foley, a friend of manager Jimmy Holder, are not in action this weekend.

Hadleigh United, who continue to suffer from a mammoth injury list, are also not playing Saturday, but host Woodbridge Town, a place above them going into Saturday’s games in 14th, on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Meanwhile, clubs are awaiting a re-draw of the Suffolk Senior Cup second round tomorrow (6.30pm BBC Radio Suffolk) after bungling Suffolk FA officials forgot to put four teams who received a bye in the last round into the hat. It means Long Melford, who were due to host Ipswich Athletic, and Cornard United, who were due to travel to Felixstowe United, could still face each other.