New Asfordby FC boss makes his point with new-look side

Former Holwell and Melton forward Ash Palfreyman made his Asfordby debut against Saffron PICTURE: Phil James EMN-190901-132611002
Former Holwell and Melton forward Ash Palfreyman made his Asfordby debut against Saffron PICTURE: Phil James EMN-190901-132611002
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Asfordby FC manager Lee Mann got off the mark with a point on his managerial debut, but believed his side could have taken more off promotion-chasing Saffron Dynamo.

The new-look Asfordby side, featuring a host of former Holwell and Melton players, were held to a goalless draw on Saturday by a side which sits third in the Senior League Premier.

Kieran Foster joined Asfordby after ending his second spell at Holwell PICTURE: Phil James EMN-190901-132622002

Kieran Foster joined Asfordby after ending his second spell at Holwell PICTURE: Phil James EMN-190901-132622002

“On the balance of play we would ordinarily have comfortably won if we had been a bit fitter and sharper,” said Mann.

“In the last 15 minutes we looked a bit leggy, but some of the boys hadn’t played for a few months, and in some cases, a few years.

“But they played exactly the way I wanted and gave everything.

“Their keeper pulled off three incredible saves, we hit the bar and had one cleared off the line, and we restricted them to one relatively clear chance.”

Former Melton Mowbray captain Mann had almost three weeks to build a squad after replacing Jon Allsop in the Hoby Road hotseat, and has used his deep roots in town football to bring together some familiar faces.

Aaron Ridout is among a trio to make the short trip from Holwell, along with Liam Chapman and Kieran Foster.

And former Melton Town players Kieron Clayton, James Hollis, Ben Lapworth and Ashley Palfreyman also lined up in Mann’s first starting XI, with midfielder Jack Baker joining them this week.

“I had to beg, borrow and steal and spent an awful lot of time on the phone,” Mann added. “But Tom Manship (Melton Town co-manager), as well as Graham Lewin and Neil Miller up at Holwell, have been incredibly supportive.

“And Matt Pond has done an amazing job behind the scenes getting them all signed and registered in time for Saturday. Working with them has made it so much easier.”

All signings bring step six experience and should have more than enough in their locker to move Asfordby away from the Premier Division basement.

But Mann insisted it didn’t take much persuading for them to drop down a level.

“The project sold itself,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for some lads who had almost fallen out of love with the game to come and start enjoying it again.

“I’m more than confident with the players we have that the results will take care of themselves.

“We have a lot of experience, but I’m also looking to bring through younger players.”