‘Crane will turn season around’
Chairman says boss can get Hayes back on track FOOTBALL
LOYAL AFC Hayes chairman Barry Stone has given his full support to Ian Crane and believes the underfire manager is the right man to get the club out of trouble.
The Brook are bottom of the Southern League Division One Central and have not won a game for more than two months.
Hayes’ latest setback came on Saturday at Farm Park as promotion-chasing Bedworth United proved too strong for the basement dwellers.
Injuries to key players like Esmond James and Jake Cass have made life difficult for Crane, but Stone reckons he has seen enough determination from the Brook boss to give him hope.
Stone said: “I know he’s working very hard and players are coming back from injury. It’s strange but it always seems to be the better players that end up getting injured. Losing critical players will affect you.
“It’s a difficult decision to make but at the moment he’s got the full backing off the committee. There’s no change. We’re all very impressed with Ian’s work ethic and what he’s trying to do. He’s not just shrugging his shoulders, he’s very positive.
“He’s got our full support. If he hadn’t he wouldn’t be in charge this Saturday. Obviously he’s not happy about the results. None of us want to be in the position we’re in. I know he’s looking for players and we talk about it after every game.
“We haven’t been scoring goals. We’ve been playing quite well at times, but just not scoring enough goals. Finding people to come in is difficult because everybody wants goalscorers and we haven’t got the money to pay for them. I know he’s looking for players and we talk about it after every game.
“We’d love to be able to give the manager a bigger budget but we just haven’t got it as a club. It’s tough. This has been our toughest season for a while. You can make the decision to change, and maybe at some stage that’ll happen if things don’t get any better, but the reason we’re sticking with him is he’s working hard to change it.
“As a club we’ve always supported people who show that kind of work ethic. We’ve always been comfortable under Ian for the last couple of seasons. We’ve not been in this position before. Yes, eventually you have to think about changing, but I’ve spoken with Ian and we’ll continue to support him. We need to do something relatively quickly – we all know that, Ian knows that.”
AFC Hayes will be hoping to end their winless run when they travel to Daventry Town on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Matty Woods’ second-half goal earned Uxbridge, who visit Chalfont St Peter this weekend, a point as they drew 1-1 at home to struggling Leighton Town.
Northwood played out a goalless draw at Beaconsfield SYCOB and they head to leaders Kettering on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in the Spartan South Midlands Premier, Ricky Pither struck to earn Harefield United a 1-1 draw against Stotfold and they travel to London Tigers on Saturday.
Hillingdon Borough will be looking to bounce back from a 4-2 loss at Kings Langley, where Francisco Caro and Karl Stevenson were on target, when they host London Colney. PHIL Babb blasted his Hayes & Yeading United players for showing a lack of effort in Saturday’s FA Trophy exit to Wealdstone, writes James Keith.
Wes Parker got the only goal of the game at Grosvenor Vale to knock Babb’s side out of the competition at the first round stage.
It’s just one win in seven now for Hayes & Yeading and Babb (pictured) was deeply unhappy with the manner of the 1-0 defeat to Gordon Bartlett’s men.
“I’m disappointed to not only lose a cup tie but also a local derby,” Babb said.
“We definitely had a lot of possession, it was just the cutting edge that determined the outcome of the game. We have to look at our forwards and ask them if they’re working hard enough to create chances in front of goal.
“The players know that and we ask them to give their all for the club – unfortunately some didn’t today.”
The only goal of the game came in the 74th minute through Wealdstone captain Parker after the visitors failed to defend a set-piece.
Babb was hoping for a good run in the Trophy but noted the finishing touch was lacking in a heated encounter.
“The morale is good, just the fine line in performances need to improve,” he added.
“Obviously we wanted a good cup run, and there was a reasonable opportunity to get something out of the game, but it wasn’t to be. We got beaten by a set-piece and I thought we had a few chances, but didn’t have that cutting-edge.”
After the game the away fans made their feelings clear to the players, but United captain Dean Inman respects their opinions.
“They pay the money, they watch the games,” he said.
“They are die-hard; home or away, rain or shine, they’ll be singing. Last year on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Dorchester they were still there.
“You can’t blame them, you just have to take it on the chin as a player because we know we haven’t been good enough.”
Hayes & Yeading return to Conference South action this weekend with the visit of Chelmsford City but will do so without top scorer Pat Cox, who left the club on Monday night.
Wealdstone play Bath, who will also be their opponents in the second round of the FA Trophy following Monday’s draw.
Meanwhile, Stones have boosted their forward options by signing 35-year-old striker Jefferson Louis from Conference North side Lowestoft Town.
n SUPPORT: Ian Crane has been backed to turn round AFC Hayes’ season; (right) Perry Dicker in action for Northwood against Beaconsfield SYCOB