Stand by your man

WOODBRIDGE Town chairman John Beecroft has revealed that boardroom unrest could have cost manager Mark Scopes his job earlier in the season.

After losing their first match of the season 9-3 at CRC, the Woodpeckers won just once in their first 14 league and cup games - experiencing a string of heavy defeats along the way.

Narrowly escaping the drop last year, Beecroft admitted that he feared the worst with the side in the bottom three starting whispers about whether Scopes should be replaced.

But Beecroft stayed strong, backing his manager with some new signings and any doubts have long since vanished.

Three straight wins in ten days in October stopped the rot and Scopes and his players have not looked back since, currently a safe ninth in the Ridgeons League Premier Division and just three points from the top six.


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Beecroft is understandably delighted with the transformation and his decision to stand by his man - especially as this season sees the club celebrate its 125th anniversary.

The chairman said: “The season started very poorly for us and I have to admit some of my fellow board members wanted me to make a decision. I was worried about spending our 125th anniversary languishing at the bottom as it is not a way I wanted to celebrate such a fantastic landmark.

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“But I backed Mark 100% and I wasn’t prepared to even listen to any calls for me to change things.

“Mark did come and have a little chat with the board and I think that helped to reassure everyone. Since then, the turnaround has been remarkable. We brought in one or two players and it is great to be in a position where we are no longer looking over our shoulder.”

Woodbridge, who today host fifth bottom Wivenhoe Town, have lost just three times in the last 16 with thoughts now turning a little to next season.

Beecroft said: “Mark is very keen to talk to me about next year and we will sit down soon to discuss our plans. At the start of this season, we made the decision to make cuts as we don’t have a pot of gold.

“Mark has done an incredible job with what has been at his disposal and now we have to look at next season. We have a relatively young squad, with some good Under-18s coming through, so if we can keep the current players at the club, the future is quite bright.”

With any relegation fears well and truly behind the club, Beecroft is now looking to celebrate the landmark birthday with a match against either Ipswich Town or Colchester United as well as an anniversary dinner.

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