Football: McDonough under fire

Non-League notebook

Roy McDonough deserves to be remembered for his achievements of the 1991-92 season, when as player-manager of Colchester United he became only the second manager to lead a club to the Conference and FA Trophy double. His experiences at Chelmsford City this season, however, have left him with a distinctly tarnished reputation.

Since being dismissed by Colchester in 1994 McDonough concentrated on playing rather than managing for a couple of seasons, turning out for Bishop's Stortford, Dagenham & Redbridge, Heybridge, Braintree and Canvey Island. At the end of last season, though, he returned to management when he took over at Chelmsford.

McDonough has rebuilt the team but results have been poor: Chelmsford are one off the bottom of the Dr Martens League Premier Division and suffered a humiliating home defeat to Wisbech of the Jewson Eastern League in the FA Cup. It was reported last week that McDonough had left the club, but it has since emerged that he has been "rested" for two weeks. Gary Bellamy, a former Wolves defender who is also the club's commercial manager, has taken temporary charge of team affairs, and dropped most of McDonough's signings for last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Merthyr Tydfil.

McDonough is due to meet the club chairman, Trevor Parker, on Monday to discuss his future. "I won't quit - they'll have to back me or sack me," McDonough said this week.

It is believed that Chelmsford may turn to the management team at another Jewson League team, Harwich & Parkeston: Colin Hill, a wealthy businessman, and Danny O'Leary. However, all is far from settled in the boardroom at New Writtle Street: Wright, has offered his resignation, which has been rejected by the other directors. The future remains uncertain - especially for the charismatic but controversial McDonough.

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