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The Non-League Football Paper

Jim Harvey sacked as Altrincham boss after just one league win in three months

Pic: Stephen Gaunt

ALTRINCHAM are searching for their third manager of the season after sacking Jim Harvey following just one league win during his three months in charge.

The Northern Irishman replaced Neil Young in September after the ex-Chester manager retired from management following a tough start to the season.

Harvey had led FC Halifax Town to FA Trophy glory just months before and almost kept the club in Non-League’s top flight after inheriting a dire situation.

Altrincham, bottom of the National League North, had hoped his experience from that relegation scrap would serve him well at Moss Lane but he departed on Tuesday with the club showing “no green shoots of recovery”.

Harvey won just one of his ten league fixtures in charge and while he enjoyed more success in cup competitors, winning three of four, the threat of a second straight relegation to Step 3 forced the Alty board into action.

Assistant-manager Matt Doughty, a firm favourite with Alty supporters, took charge of Tuesday night’s FA Trophy draw with Blyth Spartans and he will be in interim charge while the club search for Harvey’s successor.

Chairman Grahame Rowley told the club’s website: “In common with most people, we felt we had the right person with the right pedigree to take us forward when we appointed Jim as manager at the beginning of September.

“Last season at Halifax, all seemed lost when he got the job, yet he took them to Wembley in the FA Trophy and almost pulled off the great escape in the league, so he seemed the perfect fit for turning round our fortunes.

‘Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened, and something had to be done. I accept he took on a very difficult task, but the plain fact is, three months down the line, there is no sign of progress, no sign we are at least heading in the right direction.

“Jim was very disappointed when I told him the news but, when action is needed, it has to be taken. We have been waiting for things to improve, and desperately hoping they might, but there is nothing to suggest our fortunes are about to take a turn for the better.

“There are no green shoots of recovery, which is the least you need to persevere with things as they are and give the manager more time. It hurts to say it, but we are drifting, and, as a board, we simply can’t sit by and allow that to happen.

“This club has a great tradition, with a fighting spirit at the very heart of it, and we want to get that back. That’s why the next appointment is so important. We want to make sure it is the right one, rather than a rushed one. It will be a thorough process, to try and ensure we find someone who can put that fighting spirit out on the pitch.”

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