‘Palmer will get time to rebuild’
Former Greenford boss replaces resigned Crane FOOTBALL
AFC Hayes chairman Barry Stone hopes new manager Paul Palmer’s fresh approach can lift the club off the foot of the table after Ian Crane’s departure this week.
Crane left his position as Brook boss following Saturday’s 2-0 derby defeat against Uxbridge after nearly three months without a victory.
Hayes sit bottom of the Southern League Division One Central and two points off nearest-placed North Greenford United
Palmer, who was sacked by United in September, will take charge of his first game when the Brook travel to Egham tomorrow (Thursday) before hosting Royston on Saturday.
“Paul has got experien and he was very enthusiastic,” Stone said. “He knows some of the players and he was contacting them about getting them together before Thursday’s game at Egham. We need to give him time to have a look at the squad.
“He’s spoken about bringing a couple of players with him and I spoke to a few of ours on Saturday and they seem to want to stay. At North Greenford, he helped to save them from relegation last season and he’s got a freshness about him that I reckon we probably needed.
“We’ve told him he’s not under any pressure. There’s no point me dictating to him, that’s crazy, he’s got to come in and do his own thing. Like we’ve always done, we’ll give people the time to do the job, and he’s happy with that.”
Stone accepted Crane’s resignation with a heavy heart on Saturday evening and has thanked the departing manager for his hard work and dedication.
“I think after Saturday’s game Ian felt he had reached the end,” Stone said. “We actually played well and worked hard against Uxbridge but our old problem of not being able to put the ball in the back of the net resurfaced and we gave them two goals.
“Ian felt he had reached the stage where perhaps he couldn’t motivate the players or himself. He told me how he was feeling after the game and I agreed we needed hange – there’s no arantee it will work, ut we needed to do it.
“Ian has done an xcellent job for twond-a-half seasons. The resources we have re not great but he has pt us in the Southern gue for the past two ns and he was hoping to push on and I know he has been bitterly disappointed since. I’m sad to see him go.”
Chris Moore and Matty Woods got the goals for the Reds on Saturday, with Tony Choules’ side set to welcome first Godalming tomorrow and then Aylesbury at the weekend.
Northwood, who enjoyed a fine 3-1 victory at Potters Bar Town on Saturday, host North Greenford tomorrow before playing Barton Rovers on Saturday.
In the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division, Harefield United grabbed the bragging rights over Hillingdon Borough with a 5-2 derby victory on Saturday.
Hillingdon host St Margaretsbury this weekend while the Hares entertain Oxhey Jets. NATHAN Elder does not know if tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) match with Maidenhead will be his last in a Hayes & Yeading shirt.
The striker (pictured) is on a short-term loan deal from Conference Premier outfit Dover Athletic, but is due to return to Kent shortly.
He scored his first goal in his second spell at the club in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat by Westonsuper-Mare to make it just one win in eight league games.
It could be his final goal for Phil Babb’s side though as he admits he remains in the dark about where he will be plying his trade for the rest of the season.
Elder said: “It was originally for a month and the next game could be my last one. I know with the way things are, the gaffer wants changes as soon as possible.
“He hates that the club is in the situation that it’s in and he wants to do something about it. He really hates losing and wants to change it. He’s not the kind of manager that will just sit there and do nothing.
“I really don’t know what’s happening, I’m just going game by game. I need to have a little chat and see what’s going on. The boys at Dover are doing really well at the moment and I know what football’s about, so if I went back I wouldn’t be playing. We’ll just take things one game at a time.
“We’re struggling a bit. It’s nice to get off the mark but of course I’d rather have had us win the game of course. We’ve got matches coming thick and fast at the moment and that’s great for us. The worst thing is if games were being called off because you lose a game you have to wait weeks to put it right.”
Tomorrow’s clash with landlords Maidenhead offers United an early chance for revenge following the 2-0 Boxing Day reverse to the same opposition.
Elder added: “We were on top of the Maidenhead game for such a long time. If we’d have just scored a goal we’d have gone on and won it. We need to convert our dominance to goals – if you don’t then you get punished. It’s good that we’ve got the chance to play them again so soon. We’re really looking forward to it.”
Hayes & Yeading, who this week added former Boreham Wood striker David Moli to the ranks, follow the Maidenhead game with a trip to Havant & Waterlooville on Sunday.
In the same division, Richard Jolly scored his first goal since returning to Wealdstone as they made it nine games unbeaten with a 1-1 draw at high-flying Bromley on Sunday.
Gordon Bartlett’s side head to Sutton tomorrow before entertaining Hemel Hempstead Town on Sunday.
n IN AND OUT: (Above) Paul Palmer has taken over from Ian Crane (inset), who left his post as AFC Hayes boss this week