Clitheroe part company with boss Lee Ashforth

Lee Ashforth
Lee Ashforth

The search for a new manager is underway at Shawbridge after a decision was made by the club to part ways with Lee Ashforth.

Ashforth, who was Clitheroe’s third manager inside 12 months, stepped in to the breach earlier in the season following the departure of Stuart Mellish in September.

The former Harrogate Railway Athletic and Ossett Town AFC boss had lifted the Ribble Valley outfit off the foot of the Evo-Stik League West Division table with a run of one defeat in eight games.

However, they were left scrapping for their lives when winning just two games in the final 24 fixtures of the campaign.

A statement on Clitheroe FC’s Facebook page read: “Following a board meeting last night to review the season, it has been decided to part company with Lee Ashforth and his management team.

“The club would like to thank them for their efforts throughout the season and to wish them well with their future roles in the game. The search for a replacement manager will start immediately.”

Ashforth signed off with a 1-1 at home to Mossley as Jacob Gregory levelled from the spot in the 74th minute after Ben Halfacre had given the visitors the lead nine minutes earlier.

The Blues culminated the season in 18th spot, nine points clear of the bottom two in the division.

In his final interview with the club, Ashforth said: “When we got offered the manager’s role it was a bit of a gamble for me, personally. I was a bit out of the area, as everybody knows.

“I openly admitted that I didn’t particularly know players around the local area and we knew that we needed to get players in because of the way we’d started the season.

“We assessed it and we went on a great run, losing two in 12, we did really well and at that point you think can we kick on and get towards the play-offs.

“That didn’t materialise, we went on a shocking run. We started really well, we took the gamble but we didn’t kick on as we would have liked to do. It’s been tough and we could have done better. You’re never happy in football, you’re just looking to improve all the time. I’ve done it for nine months and I’ve put my heart and soul in to it.”