Orleton manager set to carry on following double promotion

Ludlow Advertiser: Orleton Colts celebrate their second goal against Tenbury United.Picture by Chas Breton. (6318884) Orleton Colts celebrate their second goal against Tenbury United.Picture by Chas Breton. (6318884)

ORLETON Colts manager Kristian Morgan is set to carry on at the Recreation Ground next season after securing a second successive promotion.

Morgan, who has been at the club for more than 10 years, initially said that he would pack it in after this season.

But, a change of heart means that he is due to continue his stay on the touchline.

"They've been trying to get me to stay on for next year, so it looks like I will have to," said Morgan.

"I would probably take a step away from playing as well and just try and concentrate on the management side of things.

"I've been player/manager for six years and I've found it quite rewarding despite all the hard work."

Orleton beat rivals Tenbury United 2-1 last Saturday to lift the Leintwardine Cup.

Their success comes on the back of them securing promotion to Herefordshire League Premier Division and winning the HFA Junior Cup.

"It's been a brilliant season for us," said Morgan.

"We've come runners-up, won the HFA Junior Cup and now the Leintwardine Cup.

"We were only promoted from Division Two last season and our main goal was to avoid relegation.

"But, we made a big effort during the past couple of months and, after being there or thereabouts all season, we made a push for promotion and it's great to have achieved that."

Morgan said that he knows that next season in the Herefordshire Premier League will be a different ball game.

"It's not going to be easy making the step up because there are some really strong teams, but I think we will be able to hold our own," said Morgan.

"I don't think we will struggle to stay up and a lower mid-table finish would be a good effort, considering the size of the squad and the ability we have to attract players to the club.

Orleton went into Saturday's game on the back of a 5-2 win against Tenbury in the league that was played just two days before the final.

Tenbury also played last Wednesday and had to juggle three games in four days.

Orleton flew out of the blocks and opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

Shane Jennings pounced on a poor clearance from Tenbury keeper Jason Griffiths to calmly slot the ball into an empty net.

However, Tenbury battled back and drew level on the half-hour mark through a close-range strike from Ian Patterson.

But, it was Orleton who ended up with the bragging rights, with their winner coming from a Kyle Whitticase floated cross that deceived Griffiths in the Tenbury goal.

"It's been a great season, I just hope we can keep everyone together for next season," said Whitticase.

"It's great to have Kristian staying on, he has had his up's and down's, but we've won two cups and won back-to-back promotions with him in charge, so why change it?"

"He's been here for years now and worked hard for the club, on and off the field.

"It's great for the lads to reward him with the season we've had."

Orleton's success has been largely down to their defence, but centre-back Mike Shillcock said that everyone has contributed.

"We are lucky to have midfielders and strikers that track back and work their socks off, so it makes us a hard team to break down," said Shillcock.

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