West Yorkshire League: Steve Donoghue takes charge at Ripon City

Ripon's Duncan Terry. (1411011AM4)
Ripon's Duncan Terry. (1411011AM4)

Former Harrogate Railway Reserves coach Steve Donoghue has been named as the new manager of Ripon City with the club battling against relegation from the West Yorkshire Premier Division.

Donoghue takes over the struggling club after Alistair Hogg was sacked last Saturday (November 15) following a 4-3 home defeat to lower-league Kirk Deighton Rangers in the Whitworth Cup.

The former Railway coach was named as the new manager on Monday, with Dave Roche named as his assistant, however Donoghue will not be in the dugout for his club’s crunch game against East End Park on Saturday.

Club captain Mark Tyson and Andy Young will take charge of the side for the pivotol clash with Donoghue’s first game coming in the League Cup clash with Baildon Trinity Athletic on Saturday, December 13.

Donoghue, a UEFA B Coach, described his task of avoiding relegation as a ‘tough old test’ but said he is looking forward to the challenge and is ‘one I’m looking forward to doing.”

He said: “It’s definitely going to be a challenge with the fact the team have only got four points so far and they are ten points from safety.

“However, I have looked at the fixtures and we have only played three home games so you would hope that if we can get the team out training on Wednesdays, we can raise the team spirit and hopefully start winning some points.

“It’s all about avoiding relegation and if we finish fourth from the bottom then that’s a success. I believe it will be possible because of the amount of fixtures we have left at home. We have to get something at Robin Hood and then we have a game against Shelley.

“That is a must win game and from that period on we have to have a good run.”

Ripon City face bottom club East End Park on Saturday with both teams desperate for points after a disappointing start to the season.

Both sides are facing the increasing prospect of relegation with Ripon City just one point and one place above End End Park with both sides having won just one game so far this season.

Donoghue, an army major, will be in Germany for the match but described the game as “massive” and said the team must “avoid losing” if they are going to stay in the division.

He said: “East End Park at the base of the league and lost to Boroughbridge on Saturday so it’s an important game but we don’t want to put too much pressure on the players.

“We will see where we are when I get back from Germany on Monday and that is when I have got to get my team sorted and what players will be available to me.”