Braintree and Cornard abandon link-up plans

HOPES of an ambitious cross-county link-up between Braintree Town and Cornard United have been dashed.

The partnership between the newly-promoted Essex side and the struggling Ridgeons League Division One club were proposed at the end of last season.

Cornard boss Chris Symes, a former manager at Braintree, had talked up the idea with the cash-strapped Suffolk club becoming akin to a reserve team for the Blue Square Bet Premier newcomers.

But that agreement now seems to be over after a breakdown between the clubs and the cancellation of a pre-season friendly planned for next week.

The U-turn has particularly angered Braintree’s reserve team boss, Mark Sansom, who was due to take over as manager of Cornard.

Iron’s chairman Lee Harding explained: “We were happy to work with Cornard and play them in a friendly, and it is my understanding that Mark was due to take over at Cornard and progress his managerial career alongside his work at Braintree.

“But then we had the rug pulled from under us. Mark had some promises made which have not come to fruition. As a result of that, Cornard have withdrawn the offer to Mark which is frustrating for all concerned. Mark will continue his role as our reserve team manager.”

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Braintree have since replaced the friendly with Cornard, planned for Monday night, with a match at home to League Two Southend United on Wednesday.

Symes, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, is thought to be in negotiations with more than one party over selling Cornard.

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