Football: New managers appointed as Rusthall await their fate

Football: New managers appointed as Rusthall await their fate

RUSTHALL have appointed Andrew McKechnie and Mike Cramp as first-team managers as they await news about relegation.

The move follows the departure of Steve Sands and Steve Ashmore earlier this month following a challenging season for the Rustics.

The pair had secured the club’s highest league status when they won promotion to the Southern Counties East League Premier Division in 2016-17.

But their first campaign in the top flight proved difficult and the club finished 19th out of 20, two points from safety in the drop zone.

Usually the bottom two sides go down but the FA is restructuring Steps 4 and 5 of the game’s ‘pyramid’, so Rusthall may be spared their fate.

They managed just one win since Christmas, which was against the bottom club Rochester United, whose relegation has been confirmed.

The club said: ‘We would like to thank Steve Sands and Steve Ashmore for their dedication and commitment over the last two seasons as well as earning us promotion last season.’

McKechnie managed Hildenborough Athletic but has close ties with Rusthall, having been on the coaching staff with the 2016-17 squad.

Cramp also arrives from Hildenborough and they were joint managers there before Cramp went to be assistant manager at East Grinstead.

McKechnie said: ‘We are very excited and honoured to be given the chance to manage at this great club.

‘We both have previous knowledge of the club, and understand how special it is.

‘We want to forge a close relationship with the reserve and youth teams to create a style of play that everyone at the club can be proud of.

Meanwhile Lee Chambers has been appointed manager of the reserves after completing 25 years with Tonbridge Invicta. His assistant is former Invicta player Nick Martin.

Chambers had run the Invicta first team for the past five years, culminating in victory in the Les Leckie Cup final against Ashford (see above).

At the end of his final league campaign Invicta were thrashed 7-1 by Rusthall Reserves.

‘I feel that managing the reserves and working closely with the first team, I can bring some new ideas to the club and hope that I can help the club keep pushing forward,’ said Chambers.

PICTURE: FRESH START: (L-R) Andrew McKechnie, Rusthall Chairman Joe Croker and Mike Cramp.Photo: Dean Jacquin

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