Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Marine have parted company with manager Sean Hessey.
The Mariners announced on Wednesday evening that Sean Hessey and his number two Phil Hackney had left the Marine Travel Arena with the club sixth from bottom in the EVO-STIK NPL’s Premier Division and battling to secure their top flight status following a poor run of results, Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Spennymoor Town their final game at the helm.
Appointed nearly two years ago following a spell as caretaker after the February 2015 departure of former manager Carl Macauley, Hessey famously pulled off the ‘great escape’ with a last day win at Blyth Spartans earning the Mariners an FA reprieve from the drop as the relegated club at Step 3 with the best record.
Last season, Hessey guided the Mariners to the final of the Integro League Challenge Cup and a 2-1 victory over Scarborough Athletic in the final at Farsley’s Throstle Nest to lift the cup for a record fourth time.
Marine chairman Paul Leary explained the club’s decision in a statement announcing the double departure and the start of their hunt for a successor to Hessey before their next outing in the league on Saturday at home to Frickley Athletic.
He said: “It is perhaps the saddest day for everyone at Marine in that Sean masterminded our well documented great escape at the end of season 2014-15 and last season under his leadership we won the Integro League cup in a dramatic end to the final.
“This has been a football decision based on this season’s league results, current form and the increasing threat of relegation and apart from the FA Trophy games, things have not gone at all well, in addition to the club having had a number of Football Association charges and fines relating to poor player discipline.
“In my conversations today I have thanked Sean and Phil for their efforts and achievements at Marine in the last two years. I cannot fault Sean’s passion and commitment and I personally wish him and Phil every success at their future clubs wherever they may be.”
He added: “Our players, supporters and committee in a united front, have to be up for the battle to achieve survival and retain our place in the NPL Premier division as the longest serving member club of the league since joining in 1979.
“We are now to invite talks immediately with persons who we think may be up for the challenge to become our new manager so we can achieve our short term survival aims and plan ahead for next season.”
Former Skelmersdale Utd, Warrington, Clitheroe and Prescot Cables manager Tommy Lawson has accepted an approach last night from Marine chairman Paul Leary to become the new Marine manager.
Lawson, 66, became available following his departure from Skelmersdale Utd a few weeks ago after more than ten years in charge.
The experienced Lawson was appointed Skelmersdale United manager in 2006 and led the club to promotion to the Evo-Stik Premier Division in season 2012/13 after five consecutive play-off finishes in his first five seasons. Previously while at Prescot Cables he won two successive promotions from the North West Counties League to the NPL Premier Division almost securing a third consecutive promotion up to Conference North. Lawson has an eye for spotting talent and has helped develop the likes of Craig Noone, Ben Tolitt and Sean McConville.
Marine Chairman Paul Leary said “I am delighted that Tommy has agreed to accept the challenge of keeping Marine in the current division by becoming our new manager. Tommy’s vast experience in the Merseyside non-league scene will be a real factor in the coming weeks. We have a target of 50 points for safety and will work tirelessly with him to try to and achieve that. It is vitally important that we retain our proud status and I am sure that Tommy is the man to do this and whatever is needed to be done he will have our complete support to do it.”
Marine Manager Tommy Lawson said “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Marine Football Club. The first thing is to secure stability but I am sure with the help of the players and everyone at Marine we can take it on with confidence. I look forward to working with the people at Marine in the coming months and to starting my task at training tonight.”