Herne Bay's new board axe Nick Gearing and bring in former Canterbury City boss Ben Smith

Saturday 25th May 2019

HERNE BAY have axed manager Nick Gearing after 27 days in charge of the club.

Gearing and his assistants Chris Woollcott and Nicky Lewis were appointed by the Bostik South East Division club on Sunday 28 April 2019.

But there was a boardroom reshuffle at Winch’s Field last night and the new board have today appointed Ben Smith as their new manager, with Tim Dixon and Ben Brown coming in with him.

“At a meeting of the CIC members last night a proposal to ensure the football club remains a successful community club put forward by the Herne Bay Consortium, was unanimously accepted by the members,” said a club statement.

“On a separate vote three new directors Stuart Fitchie, Martyn Sexton and Alan Birchard were elected to the board.

Mr Fitchie has been appointed chairman, replacing Bill Dordoy, who has also lost his role as club treasurer to Robert Taylor.

Mr Sexton, who was Canterbury City’s secretary, was appointed secretary and fixture secretary, replacing John Bathurst and Christine Dordoy.

Mr Bathurst will remain at the club as a director responsible for the youth section.

“The club welcomes these new younger directors and look forward to working together for the successful future of the club both on and off the pitch,” the statement added.

However, the statement failed to acknowledge the departure of Gearing, who didn’t have the opportunity to put a team on the pitch as his departure has come before the start of pre-season.

A club statement said:  “Herne Bay’s new committee have today announced the new management team for the 2019-20 season.

“Former Herne Bay under 18 manager and Canterbury City manager Ben Smith will be the manager, ably assisted by Tim Dixon and other Bay favourite Ben Brown.

“We wish them all the very best of luck taking the team forward.  Further notifications will follow.”

Smith guided homeless Canterbury City to The Buildbase FA Vase Semi-Finals where they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Cray Valley (Paper Mills), who suffered a 3-1 extra-time defeat to Chertsey Town at Wembley Stadium last Sunday.

Canterbury City, who play their home games at Salters Lane in Faversham, finished in ninth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division last season.

Smith was controversially sacked by Canterbury City on Sunday 28 April following comments made to a local newspaper.

Visit Herne Bay’s website:  www.hernebayfootballclub.co.uk