Southam fight back bravely to gain a point but lose a manager

Chris Conway bundles home Southam's equaliser against Stafford Town on Saturday. Picture: Morris Troughton
Chris Conway bundles home Southam's equaliser against Stafford Town on Saturday. Picture: Morris Troughton

Southam fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Stafford Town, but the big talking point of the afternoon was the resignations of manager Quentin Townsend and his assistant Kim Casey after the match, writes David Hucker.

Townsend took over the managerial reigns at the start of last season and brought the experienced Casey to the club at the beginning of the current campaign. A mixed bag of pre-season results was followed by a draw at Bromsgrove Sporting on the opening day, but then three defeats in a row, together with a 4-0 thrashing at Cadbury Athletic, made for a disappointing first couple of weeks.

Although victories over Heather St Johns and Racing Club helped move Saints up the table, defeat at Wolverhampton Casuals in the FA Vase the previous week was another disappointing result.

“I feel that I have taken these players as far as I can,” said Townsend.

“Last season was a fantastic first one as a manager for me and, having literally started from scratch, we had a good building season culminating in us reaching two cup finals. This year, for whatever reason, we haven’t had the start that I would have hoped for.”

Chairman Charles Hill was keen to thank both for their efforts saying “Quent achieved a seventh-place finish in the league in his first season in charge and two runners-up spots in important cups.

“We enjoyed some good times together and his contribution off the field has also been greatly appreciated. Kim only joined us this pre-season, but is a good man and we wish both of them well in their future endeavours.”

Hill moved swiftly to appoint Academy under-16 coach and first-team player Lee Constable as manager.

“We have an exciting period ahead of us in the lead-up to our new ground and Lee brings considerable playing and coaching experience with good contacts in the local scene,” said Hill.

With Kyle Turner having been released, home debutant Chris Conway and Gareth Evans spearheaded the attack against Stafford and they were to salvage a point for Saints.

Stafford arrived with just one win in the league to their credit, but were buoyed by a 2-0 success over Wednesfield in the FA Vase the previous weekend. They took a 27th-minute lead through Thomas Vaughan and, when Fabrice Kasiama doubled their advantage on the hour, they looked to be on their way to another victory.

But, just when things looked bleak for Southam, they won a penalty which Evans slotted home to give them hope and this was swiftly followed up by the equaliser from Conway.

There were several close calls at either end as both teams pushed for the winner, but a point apiece was, probably, a fair result on the day.