Change of manager sparks an upturn in fortunes for Southam

Tunde Ajibade's deflected strike earned Southam a point in caretaker-manager Terry Davidson's first game in charge.
Tunde Ajibade's deflected strike earned Southam a point in caretaker-manager Terry Davidson's first game in charge.
  • Midland League Division One
  • Southam United 1 Pershore Town 1

Southam United caretaker-manager Terry Davidson took charge for the first time when Pershore Town came to Banbury Road on Tuesday night and he saw his side emerge from the doldrums with a well-earned point, writes David Hucker.

A succession of postponements meant Saints had not played at home since their 5-1 defeat to Coventry Copsewood on November 14, but drying winds over the previous 48 hours had improved conditions enough to enable the match to take place.

It was played against the backdrop of the surprise resignation five days earlier of manager Lee Constable after just over four months in the job.

Constable, who has a long involvement with the club, was appointed in mid-September following the resignations of Quentin Townsend and his assistant Kim Casey.

By a quirk of the fixture list, Saturday’s postponed match against Bromsgrove Sporting meant Saints’ first opponents in the post-Constable era were a Pershore side managed by Townsend, who had returned to take over at his former club.

The visitors took the lead in the third minute when James Walker converted from a corner. Another chance came with a long shot from Dan Carter and then Matt Archer made a smart save to deny Gareth Evans.

Captain Tunde Ajibade levelled in the 28th minute with a deflected shot from outside the box after good work by Alex Andrews down the right and, although Saints put pressure on Town with a succession of corners as the interval approached, the teams went in at 1-1.

Archer was called upon to make three good saves as Town stepped up a gear at the beginning of the second half while Andrews had a good chance to add a second for Saints in the 66th minute, only to shoot wide.

Archer then made a fine save from a Dan Ludlow free-kick and Aaron Cheshire blocked a goalbound shot from a corner.

It was Archer again to the rescue from another Ludlow set-piece before Cheshire and Mike Harvey combined to thwart substitute Jacob Snape.

At the other end, Ajibade set up Paul Goonan, who was denied by a good save from keeper Andy Yarnold.

Saints could have snatched a winner in the last minute of added time when Yarnold dropped the ball from a corner but there was nobody able to get a touch.

Explaining his departure Constable said: “It was the right job, just at the wrong time and I want to thank chairman Charles Hill for giving me the opportunity after a slow start to the season. I will decide my next move in the coming weeks but, for now, I’m still gutted and will be so for some time.”

Saints host Pilkington XXX on Saturday (3pm).