Love affair over for Hams
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TONY GALE insisted something had to give at Walton Casuals – and that the decision to replace Mark Hams as manager after nine straight league defeats was a unanimous one, The Stags chairman decided to act ahead of the 1-0 win at Redhill on Saturday, Hams told in a meeting on Thursday he had been sacked, even though the official line was a parting by mutual consent. Hams and his brother Neil had guided Casuals to a club record league finish of ninth in Step 4 last season in Ryman One South. But the writing had been on the wall longer than a Banksy mural after a shocking start which included an FA Cup exit to Whitstable after a replay. Sky TV pundit Gale and his son Anthony have stepped into the breach pending the imminent appointment of a new man – with 30 applications received so far. “Mark has been great for us but after nine league defeats we needed a change,” said Gale. “We wanted to give him every chance, that’s how highly I think of him. “But seeing a couple of the recent games it looked a little bit flat and we knew we had to make a change. “This despite Mark potentially being one of the best managers we’ve had, and after having a successful season last year. “We have had a turnaround of players, which is yet to work, so we decided to change around the luck.
“I've been in this situation many times before. When you are a promotion side and everything is going well, adjustments aren’t necessary. “However, when you are a side facing relegation, with no points on the board as we were, then something has to change.” Hams has no complaints. “I can’t argue with what’s happened,” he reflected. “We had our usual meeting and it was glaringly obvious what had to be done, they could sense it and I could sense it. “I can’t say I hadn’t been given a chance, we hadn’t won in 11 matches. “I always said if I was going to be found out it would be in my second season.
“In fact I said to the chairman after game six when we lost at Corinthian Casuals that I probably would have sacked me there and then.” Hams, his own harshest critic, added: “I do feel a sense of shame and embarrassment but I have been contacted by around 80% of the players and around 75% of those have apologised for letting me down.
“In football the first rule of management is it’s always your fault. “There’s a sense of sadness as it’s not like I was managing a team in London. “Walton Casuals is on my doorstep, the closest to me. It’s my club.”
Gale force: Tony Gale, left, with son Anthony, took
over at Redhill in Casuals’ 1-0 win.