Spalding Rugby Club’s miserable season has taken another downward turn with the sacking of head coach Andy McMahon after just seven months in charge.
McMahon (pictured) was relieved of his duties after Town’s 83-0 humiliation at Ilkeston on Saturday, their 17th successive defeat in the Midlands One East league this season.
Scrum-half Ben Williams takes over as head coach with Spalding facing an immediate return to Midlands Two East (North) after conceding almost 1,000 points this season, scoring just 172 points in all competitions.
Speaking to the Spalding Today, McMahon said: “I was in charge for the Ilkeston game and, afterwards, one of the committee members came up to me and said that they’d had a meeting about wanting to move the club forward.
“The committee member asked if I would step down because I’d lost the respect of some of the senior players.
“It stung me a little bit on Saturday but, to be quite honest, I’m glad because I’ve been trying to win games with teenagers and I’ve stuck it out for longer than I thought I would.
“Bearing in mind that I’ve been coaching the team on my own for the past two or three months, it’s a relief.”
Spalding have not recovered from their 32-21 opening day defeat at Memorial Field to fellow promoted side Belgrave.
The defeat was made worse by the loss of inspirational former club skipper Harry Sharman with a broken nose and Spalding have gone on to lose six of their 17 league and cup games without even scoring a point.
McMahon said: “I was told that the committee wanted to have a fresh look at things, but I feel as if I’ve had no support from them and I’ve not been invited to any committee meetings.
“There was an intention on my part not to stay at the club after the end of the season because Spalding has been fielding second or third team players who are putting themselves forward and putting their lives on the line, with some of them
“The club is having a new set of pitches built and I hope they get a decent set of lads who want to play rugby for Spalding. But there’s a very good possibility that they’ll be relegated this season.”
Committee member Kevin Wand said: “This is one of the most difficult seasons that Spalding has had and Andy has worked very hard, under very difficult circumstances.
“We’ve got a young player base as a lot of players are injured, retiring or moving on.
“The league we’re playing in is very strong and once you go on a losing run, it’s difficult to get off it.
“To be fair to Andy, he hasn’t quit when a lot of lesser coaches would have thrown in the towel.
“It’s nothing personal but we had a look at other areas and a change was what we collectively decided to do.
“Ben Williams has played at a high level and he’s at the age now where he has a world of experience that he can communicate and convey in a coaching role.
“Ben has the respect of the players because he’s been very much of a senior player at Spalding Rugby Club for many years.
“We’ve looked at a lot of areas and so we’ve go to try and regroup, rebuild and get back to being the club we were before.”