Neal puts Rams on the road to recovery

THE building blocks have been put in place this week to aid Petersfield Town's recovery from their heavily disrupted start to the new campaign.

Friday, 2nd September 2016, 6:30 am

The Southern League club were rocked by the departure of manager Ian Saunders just over a week before the start of the new season when he resigned and took over as boss at Winchester City.

This was followed by the departure of a large number of first team regulars, who also decided to move on to pastures new just as the season was getting under way.

The Rams have fulfilled all of their commitments despite the upheaval and they have still managed to give a good account of themselves in most of the matches they have played – topped off with the stunning performance to beat promotion favourites Farnborough 3-2 at Love Lane.

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Petersfield’s form has taken a hit though during the unfolding drama at the club, and they have lost six out of the seven matches they have played so far.

Last week caretaker manager Andy Neal was given the role of first team boss on a permanent basis.

He has moved quickly to bolster his coaching team, bringing in Liss Athletic manager Paul Marsh as first team head coach and also raiding Petersfield’s East Hampshire neighbours for Gary Lines – who has become director of football at Love Lane.

On the playing front, Matt Page has joined the Rams from Gosport Borough, while Hawks youngsters Alfie Whittingham and Aaron Grimshaw have also been added to the squad.

Some former Rams favourites have also re-signed for the club – goalkeeper Tom Boyle and popular striker Mike Asare.

Chairman Graeme Moir is delighted with the moves Andy Neal has made and says there is more exciting news to come from the club in the days and weeks ahead.

‘Many people seemed to have expected us to collapse and fold such has been the nature of the events that took place just as the season kicked off,’ said Moir.

‘However, they have under-estimated the strength of the spirit running through this club – we will not give up and we will keep battling away.

‘Andy has made some great coaching appointments and they are now working hard to bring new players in to help improve the talented squad we already have in place.

‘We have a great squad of players here and if that is going to be improved by new arrivals then that is only going to change our situation more quickly.’