By Connor Steel
GOSPORT BOROUGH FC have announced that Mark Molesley has departed his role as Director of Football with immediate effect; thus finishing a six month tenure at the AEI Stadium in which the team survived a hard battle against relegation from the Southern League Premier South Division after a difficult footballing season.
Formerly in charge of Southend and Aldershot, Mr Molesley was given “all first team” responsibilities back in early December 2022 with Gosport languishing in twentieth place. He replaced ex-boss Shaun Gale with the club also out of knockout competitions such as the FA Cup; where they lost a replay away to Paulton Rovers.
His leadership started brilliantly with successive league victories over Tiverton and Merthyr before a win-less streak lasting until late January; the thrilling comeback against Hayes & Yeading one of the highlights of this season. This was followed up by an away success versus rivals Salisbury in a rearranged tie due to weather.
The team then struggled through February and March where they only picked up one victory in ten matches; which came against North Leigh away from home. This streak included awful performances against Weston-super-Mare, Met Police and Salisbury coupled with a defeat to Fareham Town in the Portsmouth Senior Cup.
Concerns of relegation started to fade with the away success against Harrow Borough on March 25 as other went their way; three crucial home wins against Hartley Wintney, Hendon and Beaconsfield sealing safety in the final few days. The team eventually finished seventeenth in the table with 47 points, ten clear of the drop.
Ahead of the potentially busy off season with a revamp to players and staff expected, Gosport a short online statement on Friday evening to thank their former manager and praised his commitment during his tenure in charge. This can be read online here, which includes a quote from chairman Iain Mcinness and Mr Molesley.
PICTURED BY TOM PHILLIPS: Mark Molesley applauds the crowds as they celebrate stoppage time winner versus Hayes & Yeading in late January; one of the few highlights from a difficult season at the AEI Stadium.