All change at Sidmouth Town

PUBLISHED: 15:39 25 August 2011

Actiion from Sidmouth's 2-1 victory against Exeter Civil Service at their Manstone ground on Saturday afternoon.  Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 6717-34-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Actiion from Sidmouth's 2-1 victory against Exeter Civil Service at their Manstone ground on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 6717-34-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Archant

Sidmouth Town have parted company with both their managers after an extraordinary meeting on Monday night.

Phil Margrett and Paul Ashford have been told their services are no longer required and the club is currently advertising for a replacement manager for the Peninsula side.

Margrett said: “I am disappointed, of course. I didn’t know about the meeting but I wish the club all the best.”

Ashford added: “I resigned the previous Wednesday, but that’s how I am, I resign about twice a year normally, but the club committee have told me they don’t want me anymore.”

Margrett and Ashford piloted the team from a failing D and E Premier side into a league winning outfit in three seasons.

Jason Stiling, who was the third member of the management team, is currently caretaking the side which has hit the ground running in the Peninsula League, beating Axminster 4-1 midweek after kicking off with a 2-1 win over Exeter Civil Service. Against Axminster Tom Perryman scored after 14 minutes , Russ Coombs making it 2-0 after the break.

Sub Pete Grover scored a third before Dan Beer scored the Tigers’ first goal of the campaign.

A last minute penalty kick from Ashley Barker completed the scoring.

Margrett is a sucessful Peninsula manager of long-standing and high regard, and, he says, has no further plans at the moment.

Ashford added: “I am new at the management game, albeit with three fairly successful seasons by anyone’s reckoning under my belt. I am obnoxous and arrogant at times, but I am competent at football and like things to be done right. I knew the knives were out and I know I have to toughen up. I guess the player power got to me in the end. I wanted all the players who signed on for Peninsula to also sign on for Devon and Exeter football, so that it stayed a real club outfit, but we never got to decide on that one! I wish nothing but the best for the club. They are in good nick.

“ I am, however, looking forward to spending time with my family, whch at the moment includes watching Ben and Luke play football for Sidmouth!”

Neither Club Secretary Andy Argyle nor Football Secretary Geoff West were prepared to comment other than to say that the club were looking for a new manager and, as the Herald went to press, we were unable to contact club chairman Colin Ralls.

Meanwhile the club released the following information.

For the Manstone Lane faithful Saturday, August 20 marked a significant day in the history of Sidmouth Town AFC – the ‘Vikings’.

Sidmouth Town 1st Team entertained Exeter Civil Service in their inaugural fixture in the Carlsberg Peninsular League Division 1 East in front of a packed house playing in an arena looking splendid in the late August sunshine. They got off to a winning start.

The scene was a culmination of the years of effort and hard work by the Club Committee, Management, Members and Supporters in ensuring that the Football Club developed and was successful in rising through the local football hierarchy. Last season’s Champions and Cup Winners were rewarded with the prize of elevation to Devon and Cornwall’s elite.

In last season’s campaign the team played exciting and attractive football in the fiercely contested Devon and Exeter Premier League to outperform their local rivals and lift the crown. This season promises to be no different under the current coaching team of Jason Stiling and Simon Hudson. With the addition of Nick Ogden coming in to manage the 2nd Team in the Devon and Exeter League, there is a wealth of football experience at the club. An already successful Sunday side and a new Veterans team have added an extra dimension to playing activities.

Whilst the ‘shop window’ of any Football Club is its teams on the field of play, behind the scenes much has also happened. The ground improvements – crowd railings, a hard standing area, dugouts, refurbished dressing rooms, the safety barrier behind one goal all demonstrate the Club’s commitment to standards, excellence and a professional approach.

The playing surface alone is a testament to the expertise of Groundsman Ken Mortimore and provides the teams with an opportunity to play good football on one of the best kept pitches in Devon.

In the Club House the good management of the Club Committee under Chairman Colin Ralls ensures a warm welcome awaits members and visitors alike. The well run and well stocked bar provides excellent beverages at modest prices. Delicious freshly prepared food is available on match days and people are encouraged to stay into the evening to meet friends and watch the satellite TV games. The Club is also open throughout the week (winter and summer) and hosts skittles, darts, pool teams and evening Bingo sessions.

With excellent support and guidance from Sidmouth Town Council and with Councillor Stuart Hughes as its new President, the Football Club is now firmly part of the fabric of the local community. Additionally the levels of sponsorship and programme advertising by local businesses further demonstrate how Sidmouth always pulls together to promote sport in the town. Annual membership for 2011/12 can now be taken out, just call in to the Club or come along to the next home game and help the ‘Vikings’ continue to go from strength to strength.

●Sidmouth Town take on Ottery St Mary at home 6.30pm next Tuesday.

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