Ashforth confirmed as new manager

Ossett Town chairman James Rogers is backing Lee Ashforth to bring stability to the EVO-STIK League club after naming the former Harrogate Railway boss as the successor to Grant Black.

Ashforth, pictured, will take charge of the Reds for the first time at Bamber Bridge in EVO-STIK League North on Saturday after initially taking over as caretaker manager following Black's departure last week after 16 months at the helm.

Ashforth, who was also the assistant manager at Brighouse Town after managing in the EVO-STIK League at Station View, brought in Steve Nicholson as his own number two within hours of being appointed after Steve Ridley stood down from the post to follow Black out of Ingfield.

Nicholson comes with a wealth of EVO-STIK League experience having played and managed in the EVO-STIK League for several years at number of clubs including Ossett Albion and Wakefield. Along with Keith Mackie and physio Nick Short who are staying on, he completes Ashforth's new touchline team.

Rogers told the club's supporters that experienced and well-travelled coach Ashforth was best placed to provide the leadership the team required to get them back on track.

The Reds chairman said: “Having spoken at length to Lee, as well as the existing squad, it is important for all of us that we retain stability and look to get back to winning ways as soon as possible. We’ve had a great record for the last 18 months but seen a blip in results over the last few weeks. We believe Lee is best placed to build on the strengths we undoubtedly have as a team and take us forward.

“We can also announce that Steve Ridley has decided to step down from his role as player-assistant-manager. Steve has been a great servant to this club for the last two years and we wish him well for the future. Keith Mackie will be staying as part of the management team and Lee will be looking to strengthen the team in the next few days."

Black stood down after after his side's run of one win in nine outings, his final game a 1-0 defeat at home to Ossett Albion on New Year's Day. In under 16 months at the helm in his first managerial post, the former Harrogate Town, Buxton and Stalybridge Celtic star guided the Reds away from relegation and into a play-off final.

Image courtesy of Caught Light Photography/Harrogate Railway Athletic

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