ST MARTINS have begun the search for a new manager after confirming that James Etherington has stepped down from the club.

The young boss departed the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) Division One South side after a 3-1 home defeat to Eccleshall on Tuesday night, despite taking a fourth-minute lead.

Director of Football Steve Garnett explained the reasons behind his close friend's departure.

He said: "Following the final whistle of Tuesday's game, James stood down as manager of St Martins FC.

"His tenure has been made difficult by personal; factors but the football struggles were mainly due to the lack of continuity of players, staff and match/training time because of the Covid pandemic.

"But unfortunately leaving the team at the foot of the NWCFL Division One South table and no wins so far this season.

"James informed the players after the match that he expected them to continue to develop, to prove that his investment in them was worth it and to fully support the new management regime which we as a club will look to appoint this week.

"Myself personally and everyone involved with the football club wishes to thank James for all his hard work and enthusiasm and we wish him all the best in his future career.

"You will always be part of the St Martins family so please don't be a stranger."