Maldon and Tiptree enter new era

ESSEX clubs Maldon Town and Tiptree United will enter a new era following a historic few days at both clubs.In a move late on Thursday night, Tiptree chairman Ed Garty took over from his Maldon counterpart Mick Kirkham - the Jam Makers also buying the Blues' Park Drive stadium.

Stuart Watson

ESSEX clubs Maldon Town and Tiptree United will enter a new era following a historic few days at both clubs.

In a move late on Thursday night, Tiptree chairman Ed Garty took over from his Maldon counterpart Mick Kirkham - the Jam Makers also buying the Blues' Park Drive stadium.

Maldon manager Stuart Nethercott was immediately removed as Maldon boss and has been replaced by Tiptree manager Colin Wallington.


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Tiptree's Chapel Road has been sold to a consortium, who will now develop the land, while the two Essex clubs will now ground-share at Park Drive.

Officials insist that the two clubs will remain independent but there is now likely to be a major partnership between them, with a number of players moving each way.

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There were rumours that Kirkham would simply swap roles with Garty and move to Tiptree, but they have proved unfounded and the former Maldon supremo will now take a break from football. Tiptree are now looking to appoint a new chairman and manager in the coming weeks.

Wallington, who has not had a single training session with his new squad, will take immediate charge of Maldon for their match at VCD Athletic today, while Tiptree assistant Brad King will lead the way for them as caretaker boss in their FA Vase second qualifying round tie against Barkingside.

The latter match will take place at Chapel Road in what is likely to be the last ever football match at the ground.

Maldon Town are currently struggling at step four of the non-league pyramid in the Ryman League Division One North, while Tiptree United are regarded as likely promotion candidates from the step five Essex Senior League.

The clubs will therefore have an awkward decision to make in terms of the sharing of resources in the coming weeks.

Tiptree secretary John Wisbey said: “There are no plans for this to be a merger. Both clubs will continue to have their identity.

“I'm sure there will be a crossover of players, but both teams will push for promotion. I really can't see one or the other club disappearing.”

Wallington said: “It all happened very quickly in the end, but it had been talked about between the clubs for a while.

“When it comes to playing staff, I'm not guaranteeing anything at all. The game against VCD is an opportunity for the Maldon players to show me what I have got and I can then reassess.

“If there are players at Tiptree who will make Maldon better, then I will look to take them on.

“I don't want people to think I have left Tiptree because I haven't. I'm still very, very much involved with Tiptree.

“Come the end of the season there will be league restructuring. Maldon may want to move leagues and so might Tiptree. These changes give us the liberty to do what suits both clubs best.”

Ex-Maldon boss Nethercott added: “The new chairman has come in and he's got his own ideas on how things should be done and I didn't figure in them. I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get the chance to have another go at it.”

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