Market Drayton Town meet the problem head on
Market Drayton Town’s directors have moved to quell the unrest in the camp following the sacking of boss Martyn Davies, writes Terry Morris.
The club’s hierarchy invited the players who boycotted Saturday’s FA Trophy tie at Chasetown to a ‘consultative’ meeting with new manager Carl Abbott.
The aim was to bridge the divide created by the surprise axing of Davies and to launch a squad to take the club forward in a crucial home game against Belper tomorrow.
Feelings are still running high among the Greenfields faithful over the manner of Davies’ dismissal after over 18 years with Town as their record-breaking goalscorer, coach and, for the past two-and-a-bit seasons, manager.
Long-time supporters, former club officials and, first and foremost, Davies’ players, were aghast at the manner of his dismissal, after Town’s first defeat in five games, at Alvechurch last week.
He was warned of his impending dismissal by opposing officials when Town arrived at the ground, laughed it off and was then left dumbfound when axed by Town’s directors in the Alvechurch boardroom after the game.
The Town board immediately came under fierce criticism for acting without the backing of the club’s wider committee. It was said many of them were also shocked and surprised.
Club chairman Ben Cockram insisted however, that “everyone on the board and committee was consulted” about Davies’ dismissal. He added that while some found their decision difficult, it was that Davies should go.
While supporters talked of protests, Town players took direct action. Virtually the whole squad made themselves unavailable for the weekend’s FA Trophy tie at Chasetown – and then turned up in force as spectators to show their support for the club, while still protesting about the treatment meted out to Davies.
It was polite, pointed and purposeful – and new boss Abbott, who performed a minor miracle by putting together a competitive side of new signings and a reserves to give the Scholars a run for their money, later responded in kind.
He said: “I acknowledge, appreciate their point of view; the difficulty and the upset of it all. I just hope we can draw a line and play on. My door’s always open. We can talk but, ultimately, we must move on.”
Of the regular Town squad, only Ash Rawlins played. Sean Geddes, signed from Sutton Coldfield, captained the newcomers. They included a strong contingent from Abbott’s previous team, Hinckley, while Cameron Muir and Liam Dunphy came in from the reserves.