Sheffield FC are still reeling from the shock resignation of manager Chris Dolby and his assistant Gavin Smith.
Dolby cited lack of ambition and funds for players wages as the reasons for his departure as Club have struggled in the New Year with only four wins in 13 league games.
The exodus of so many class players like Tom Jones, Jordan Eagers, Matt Outram and Scott Lowe, who has been almost ever-present this season, is another aspect of their game that is hard to understand.
They lost 3-1 at home to mid-table Glapwell on Tuesday - Jamie Hadfield got the goal - and Sheffield’s line up included only four players who started the season at the club. Chief scout Ian Whitehorne was in charge and will be for the forseeable future until a new manager is appointed,
Chairman Richard Timms was sad to read about ‘lack of ambition and wages.’ He said: “At a pre-season meeting, the wage bill was agreed by the committee and manager Chris Dolby. It’s the same today as it was on the first week of the season and will be on the last week of the season.
“As a club we have had only three managers in 17 seasons and none of them were sacked. John Pearson was with us for nearly four seasons, Dave McCarthy was here for 10 and Chris was in his third season.”
Sheffield have already received applications for the job but the position will be advertised and no quick decision will be made.
Dolby’s decision to quit came after last Saturday’s shock 3-2 defeat at bottom club Spalding United who had won only two games out of 30 this season and were on the back of a nine-match losing run. New signing Ant Lynam from Rainworth scored both Sheffield’s goals.
They entertain fellow Evo-Stik Division One South strugglers Shepshed Dynamos on Saturday while next Tuesday I will travel with them to newcomers Romulous who are in contention for a play-off place.
Stocksbridge had their big game at Premier Division leaders Halifax called off on Saturday and manager Gary Marrow must now be ruing the fact that he rested four key players last week against Matlock in the Cup. On Saturday the players must sharpen up their inconsistent form as they face FC United of Manchester in front of what should be a big crowd, while next Tuesday they have a home encounter with Burscough.
In the Kool Sports North Counties East League’s Premier Division bottom club Hallam, who have lost four and drawn one in the New Year, look for their first win since September 25 with Saturday’s vital home game against Armthorpe Welfare, who were on the wrong end of an 8-2 scoreline last Saturday. However, manager Julian Watts must tighten up his defence, who have conceded 19 goals in five games, if they are to take anything from the game.
Next-to-bottom Dinnington Town are battling against all the odds and their player exodus is a great pity. It makes you realise why they have not won a league game since October 2 and that includes all nine they have played this year with 31 goals conceded. Their two upcoming away games, at Thackley on Saturday, and Selby Town, next Tuesday, is unlikely to improve their woeful record.
Maltby Main returned to winning ways when they beat neighbours Dinnington 4-1 with goals from Branagan, Lavender, Whittington and Warren while Arnault replied but Cartledge missed a penalty for Town, who were much better than the scoreline would suggest. Then last Saturday the Miners, despite playing well, went down 4-2 at third-placed Bridlington Town their goals coming from Whittington and Hickey. They visit third bottom Liversedge on Saturday and host Armthorpe Welfare next Wednesday.
Parkgate are still in second place, despite losing three of their last four league and cup games but are now seven points adrift of Farsley although they’ve got three games in hand. A bigger threat to both clubs may be Bridlington Town who had that victory over Maltby while both the top two had to sit it out because of the weather. Manager Doug Shelley is determined to get his Parkgate players back into consistant form and they start on Saturday at home to Hall Road Rangers.
In Division One I saw top-of-the-table Staveley work hard to overcome hosts AFC Emley 1-0 thanks to a stunning 30 yard goal from Fawcus but it was a far from satisfactory win. It leaves them eight and 11 points clear of their nearest challengers and their destiny would appear to be in their own hands. They visit second-placed Yorkshire Amateurs on Saturday for the day’s biggest game and then entertain neighbours Handsworth in what should be a cracking derby next Tuesday.
Handsworth’s poor pitch drainage is causing them concern as they lost another home game leaving them three games behind most of the top clubs. They should get back on course on Saturday when bottom club Brodsworth Welfare come calling.
Worsbrough Bridge are another club with ground problems but they were looking to get back on track on Tuesday with the visit of Leeds Carnegie. Unfortunately it was not to be as after a very entertaining game it was Leeds who came out on top 4-2, despite goals by Podmore and Uttley.
Teversal visit Park Road on Saturday.
l Due to the fixture backlog caused by the weather some NCE League clubs in our area may be forced to play two mid-week games per week in March and April.
Clubs whose normal midweek date is Monday could face ‘home fixtures’ on Wednesdays, those on Tuesday will be Thursday and those on Wednesday will be Monday.