Hares shock as Swannell quits

PUBLISHED: 11:30 05 May 2006 | UPDATED: 21:51 28 May 2010

Paul Swannell

Paul Swannell

MARCH Town United manager Paul Swannell has resigned just days after his team produced a dramatic performance to move off the bottom of Ridgeons Division One. Swannell said: I had a meeting with the club this week and told them that I wanted to leave the

MARCH Town United manager Paul Swannell has resigned just days after his team produced a dramatic performance to move off the bottom of Ridgeons Division One.

Swannell said: "I had a meeting with the club this week and told them that I wanted to leave the club.

"I have found it tough balancing work commitments with my role at the club, and the travelling to both home and away matches has been very difficult for me.

"I felt that this was a good time to leave and give the club time to find a new manager."

Swannell's resignation takes effect immediately, but he can reflect on Saturday's sensational win in his final game with the club - and the team's last of the season, on Saturday.

With just five minutes remaining, the Hares were 2-1 down to Swaffham Town but they staged an astonishing comeback to win 3-2 and leap up the table.

With time running out at the GER, it seemed that March were certain to end the season propping up the table.

But a late equaliser from Matt Batt and a last-minute winner from substitute Stuart Anderson gave them a precious win.

The three points moved the Hares up three places - above Downham Town, Hadleigh United and bottom side Thetford Town.

March began the game in a positive manner and created several early chances, but it looked like it was not going to be their day, when with their first attack of the match, Swaffham took the lead after 16 minutes with a long-range strike.

The lead did not last long however, and ongoing pressure from the home side was rewarded with a well-taken goal from Louis Lee.

Once again, March looked the more threatening side in the second half, but the visitors regained the lead midway through the half when a deep cross was tapped in at the far post.

The game turned in the 85th minute when Ashley Spendelow got behind the defence and produced a dangerous cross that was netted by Batt, making a late run into the box.

However, the drama was far from over and a long ball from Alex Spibey cleared the Swaffham defence and found Stuart Anderson, who brought the ball down, moved in on goal, and crashed the ball into the back of the net with virtually the last kick of the game.

Swannell said: "It was a great win for us, and I think we deserved the three points.

"We created the better chances, but we showed a lot of character to come back into the game.

"Our home form has not been bad at all this season, but too many times we have lost games that we should have got something from.

"If we had been able to field the same team more consistently it would have made a great deal of difference to our season."

March will have a busy summer seeking a new manager and coach, and rebuilding a squad that is in transition.

Swannell said: "There will be several players who will not be able to continue playing for the team, and the squad will have to be restructured.

"At the start of last season we made the mistake of assuming that we had a settled team, but then there was suddenly an exodus of players who wanted to leave the club.

"We didn't have enough time to get new players in, and the team suffered as a result.

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