FOOTBALL: Moulton Harrox ready to kick off title defence

Championship celebrations for Moulton Harrox at the end of last season
Championship celebrations for Moulton Harrox at the end of last season
  • ChromaSport & Trophies Peterborough and District League Premier Division
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Nigel Steadman and Paul Crowson will take charge as Moulton Harrox begin the defence of their Premier Division championship on Saturday.

They were handed roles after the departure of title-winning boss Dave Panton last month due to work commitments.

We’ll be going into the league campaign with an open mind and trying to do our very best. Myself and Nigel have experience of the league so we’ll come out fighting.

Paul Crowson

Despite the major blow of losing 42-goal top scorer Ollie Maltby to Pinchbeck United this summer, Harrox have added to the squad which only lost twice last season in the ChromaSport & Trophies Peterborough and District League.

Captain Billy King and striker Ian Bradbury will be available, although they have signed dual registration with newly-promoted Whittlesey Athletic.

Marcus Parry – who struck 54 goals in 32 appearances for Division Two side Spalding Town – has joined Moulton.

Another arrival is former Wyberton midfielder Danny Maddison.

Central defender Ashley Coddington went to Holbeach United.

Crowson admitted: “I felt disappointed at the end of last season because the club was in a mess.

“I’d had enough so I packed it in after 37 years.

“Then all of a sudden, Dave Panton resigned and just a few weeks ago Nigel rang me one Thursday night when I was at home with my wife to say he didn’t really know what was going on at the club.

“He told me he would only take the job as long as I came back as his assistant.

“We’ll be running the first team together but the players coming into the club have also helped us tremendously.

“Reserve-team manager Kev Nottingham came in from Spalding United’s reserves and he brought quite a few lads from last season.

“We have strength in depth with more quantity. However, they have got to prove themselves and these are early days.

“I feel we are reasonably optimistic but it’s not going to be an easy task.

“Although we’ve lost Ollie up front, we feel Marcus can do a good job at a higher level.

“There is a difference in the standard but in pre-season he has done exceptionally well.

“He scored in midweek and created two last Saturday but there is no pressure on him. We have told him to go out there and enjoy it.

“We have tried to bring in players but we haven’t really had a full pre-season.

“We dominated the Jack Hogg Memorial Shield game but Langtoft United’s keeper was outstanding. They had two chances, took both and won it.

“We’ll be going into the league campaign with an open mind and trying to do our very best.

“Myself and Nigel have experience of the league so we’ll come out fighting.”

Bobby Patterson and Ben Allen are both suspended for red cards in the President Premier Shield final defeat to Pinchbeck.

The league season starts on Saturday at home to Stilton United (1pm kick-off).

Crowson added: “They are a bit of an unknown quantity with a new manager.

“Although we lost our final friendly 3-1 away to Wyberton on Tuesday night, we were in the game for 75 minutes.

“We brought four players off the bench and the changes upset us a little bit as they scored three late goals. We were missing a few players but Billy is back on Saturday.”