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14/4/2007 UL Skelmersdale 4 - 1Bridlington Town

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New Managers - THEY say a week is a long time in football and anyone who attends Queensgate regularly can confirm how true that is following the first game under the new management duo of Ashley Berry and Paul Stoneman.
For at least the previous four home games there has been an air of pessimism and depression all around the ground to such an extent that the possible demise of the club was imminent. However, Saturday's performance against Ossett Albion completely changed the attitude of the regular supporters. Even before kick off you could sense an air of hope and expectation buzzing round the ground and 90 minutes later it was as if all Peter Smurthwaite's problems had been blown away as everyone left the ground in a positive mood that a better future lay ahead.

Of course, there is a long way to go and there is still a mountain to climb. The fact is that Smurthwaite himself seems a different person and has nothing but positive vibes for the new set-up.
He told the Free Press: "I was determined to bring in a management team that would give me a general on the field and also one on the touchline. Paul Stoneman certainly fits the bill on the field and the pair have already convinced me that they have sufficient contacts to bring in players that are at least UniBond standard.

"I am expecting several new faces to join the ranks in the next few weeks and our regular fans can rest assured that they will soon be watching a Bridlington Town team capable of producing performances worthy of their support."
In preparation for Saturday's trip to Shepshed Dynamo, a friendly game was arranged for last night against Tadcaster Albion with Stoneman not playing so he could stand with Berry on the touchline and assess each player. It was expected that at least one new player, a striker, would attend the friendly and almost certainly be in Saturday's team.

On Tuesday, Berry told the Free Press about his first thoughts on the task at Queensgate. "I know Bridlington is a nice place and Paul and I are well aware of how good the club facilities are, so when we were given the chance to come in, we didn't hesitate.
"Peter convinced us of his plans for the club and our ambitions are exactly the same, that is to take the club forward," he said.

As for Saturday's game, he said: "I was more than happy with the performance, the lads we brought in did well and blended in straight away with the regular players who also gave their all.
"We are not here just to run a team on Saturdays, we are fully focused on the job in hand which is initially to get out of the bottom three and hopefully win the East Riding Senior Cup and then who knows what the future may hold."

1st team Manager departs details below


Manager Marshall leaves Queensgate
BRIDLINGTON Town have parted company with manager Paul Marshall after a string of poor results.
Marshall has failed to win a single league game, and after a meeting with owner Peter Smurthwaite today he has left Queensgate.

Mr Smurthwaite said: "After a meeting today with Paul Marshall it was always agreed that we would review the progress of the club at the end of December, and in view of disappointing results Paul will be leaving the club by mutual agreement.

"I would like to thank Paul for his efforts, it was always going to be a difficult job to steer the club away from the bottom of the league.

"I will now be reviewing the situation to see how we can progress from here."

Town's home game today was postponed due to a water-logged pitch.


Town Chairman Pete Smurthwaite at last this week, mountie-style, finally got his man, for the First XI Manager's position. The man in question is ex-Goole and Harrogate Railway boss Paul Marshall, who arrives at Bridlington with a fine track record, and this must be viewed as the best possible acquisition by the Queensgate chief.

Marshall himself professed to being 'delighted' to be back in the dug-out after a short spell away from the front line since his departure from Clitheroe at the beginning of the season. 'I was helping their manager Mark Smitheringale, who was actually my number two during our successful spells with Railway and Goole, and strangely, they decided to get rid of him literally a couple of days before this season started" said Marshall. "They offered me the post, but it was going to be a long haul from my home in York and I decided against it", adding " I met with Pete last week, who I must admit did a very good job in selling all the positive things about what is clearly a very good set-up here, and was happy to commit".

And so to Queensgate, where Marshall admits to having "no easy job" on his hands to steer a Town side crippled by injuries and suspensions away from the drop zone. However, says Marshall " I enjoy a challenge, and my previous managerial jobs have all presented me with difficult challenges in their time, yet I consider myself to have been successful in them all, and certainly left the clubs in a far better state than when I went in".

Marshall attended his first training session at Queensgate on Tuesday night, but with a myriad of forms to sign and people to meet, understandably had little time for immediate input. "I spoke with Pete, and three of the senior players, who put me in the picture of where we stand at present". Clearly, any side in this division would miss players of the calibre of Wayne Wallace, Carl Giblin, Chris Hyam and Gavin Kelly, and we will be without all of these on Saturday" explained Marshall. " I would estimate we have eight or nine good experienced Unibond players, but beyond that, especially at present, the squad is too thin for this league, and I will be looking to sign players of the required ability sooner rather than later".

Looking to the longer term, the new manager remains very positive and optimistic about the progress his new charges can make. "I have not come here to stand still. Obviously this season will be one of consolidation and remaining in this division, but certainly with the acquisition of more players, and with Peter now more able to concentrate on the commercial aspect of the club, I would certainly expect to see us making good headway in the league next year".