Petersfield staff hailed after weathering the storm

Petersfield director of football Gary Lines welcomes John Robson, right, to the club
Petersfield director of football Gary Lines welcomes John Robson, right, to the club
Brett Poate. Picture: Neil Marshall

Moneys hope big crowd can inspire flying Southern League start

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Petersfield Town’s coaching staff have been praised by the Rams’ chairman for their commitment and dedication during the club’s difficult season to date.

Graeme Moir issued his message as the Southern League division one central outfit prepared for the visit of Ashford Town tonight (7.45pm).

Ashford’s arrival at Love Lane will mark new manager John Robson’s first game in charge of all first-team matters.

Until this point he has been assessing the squad.

All of the first-team coaching staff will be retained by Robson, including director of football Gary Lines, head coach Paul Marsh and goalkeeping coach Tom Best.

And Moir believes they deserve praise for what has been a pretty thankless task so far this campaign.

The chairman said: ‘It has been a difficult start to the season but the coaching staff have kept things going.

‘Despite the defeats and a number of other setbacks, they have remained upbeat, kept turning up and trying to do the right things.

‘They have tried to talk the players through the situation we have found ourselves in.

‘It has not been easy but they have worked together to keep everyone going and motivated as much as possible on the playing side.

‘Andy Neal (former boss) did his best at the start of the season and Gary then stepped in to run the team.

‘Along with Paul and Tom, he has brought some stability to the situation.

‘They have all worked extremely hard and have helped us to start heading in the right direction again.’

Robson faces a tough first game in full charge with Ashford, who beat Barton Rovers 6-3 on Saturday, sixth in the table.

Moir has urged everyone to remain patient and give Robson their full backing.

He added: ‘Things aren’t going to change overnight and it will take time for John to get the players playing the way he wants them to.

‘But he is a highly-experienced coach and we all believe he will, along with the players, turn this situation around.’