Cinderford Town FC relegated after play-off heartbreaker

Tuesday 10th May 2022 11:00 am
Goal scorer Zak Drew in action on Saturday. Picture: Gus Griffin.
Goal scorer Zak Drew in action against Skelmersdale Utd (Gus Griffin )

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Cinderford Town 1-5 Skelmersdale Utd

CINDERFORD Town lost the Southern League status they had held for more 25 years after defeat in the inter-league play-off.

The 1-5 defeat at the hands of North West Counties Premier side Skelmersdale Utd was a miserable end to the Foresters’ centenary season.

Many had questioned the FA’s late decision to have winner-takes-all finals between clubs from different part of the country – including Town manager Alex Sykes.

The defeat against the visitors from Lancashire means Cinderford will join Lydney Town in the Hellenic Premier for the 2022-2023 season.

Zak Drew scored for Cinderford in the 78th minute to reduce the deficit to 3-1 but a penalty and a goal in stoppage time made the final score 1-5.

Writing in the match programme, manager Sykes welcomed Skelmersdale to the Causeway ground after a 150-mile journey.

He added: “How any of us got here is beyond me, but who I am to question the rationale or the logistics team at the governing body?

“We were led to believe throughout this whole process that third bottom would be enough to stay in the league (not that I was ever aiming for that of course).

“But to find out three weeks prior to the end of the season that it wasn’t, and the run of results, has got us to this point.

“I wanted to place on record that I knew what I was inheriting in November and am confident with the help of the board and committee that we are definitely going in the right direction.”

The end of the season has also seen the departure as chairman of Stuart Tait.

He is being replaced by a partnership of his vice-chairman Nick Simonds and Debbie Wilkins, who will be the first female Chair of the club in its 100-year history.

Mr Simonds said: ““I would like to thank Stuart for all the incredible work he has put into Cinderford Town AFC.

He has left the club in a far better position than what he inherited and hopefully Debbie and I can continue the good work that Stuart and the committee have started.

“The aim is to keep the club moving forward both on and off the pitch”

Mr Tait took over as chairman in 2016 with the club in turmoil following the loss of manager John Brough, the entire playing staff and the club facing a huge VAT bill.

Along with other key committee members, the financial expert engineered a turnaround in the club’s fortunes and leaves it on a sound finanical footing.

Cinderford Town: Nick Jones, Marcel McIntosh, Tris Haswell, Jamie Bremner, Dion Molyneux (capt), Lewis Bamford, Zac Drew, Jack Freeman, Ben Brooks, Owen Taylor, Harry Emmett. Substitutes: Toby Holland, Will Emery, Dylan Jones, Will Morford, Ben Hoy.

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