Strange goings on at AFC Emley over the past week that saw Darren Hepworth effectively sacked as manager of the Division One club, despite a statement issued by chairman John Whitehead to the effect that Hepworth had left by mutual consent.
It came just 24 hours before Emley’s game at Appleby Frodingham which they won 4-0.
Then on Sunday news filtered out of the club that the popular Hepworth was being reinstated with immediate effect with the club later issuing a statement to clarify what had been a madcap 72 hours.
It became apparent that Hepworth’s departure was far from mutual when he took to Twitter to say “In total shock- will miss the players, supporters and club terribly.”
Since replacing Darren Bland, Emley made great strides under Hepworth and this season were seventh in the table with five wins from eight despite the great loss of top scorer Ashley Flynn to Shaw Lane Aquaforce.
Speculation soon spread of a fall out. That was confirmed in the club’s statement which read: “The chairman and manager were involved in a disagreement over several club matters. On Friday, without further discussion, the chairman relieved the manager of his position and informed the committee. On Saturday, the chairman told staff and players a new manager had been appointed and would be announced on Monday. Again this was without communication with the committee. After long and careful deliberations, the committee reversed those decisions and Darren Hepworth returned as first team manager.”
The chain of events led to Whitehead resigning and sobringing forward his intention of standing down at the end of the season. The club said: “Nobody can deny the strenuous efforts he, along with the support of his family, has done to keep football going in Emley.”
However, it was a disappointing return for Hepworth as Emley went down 4-0 at Bottesford.