Striker Ashley Stott leaves Witton Albion as a result of club wanting to cut its cloth accordingly

Northwich Guardian: Ashley Stott celebrates scoring the opening goal in April's play-offs final win. Ashley Stott celebrates scoring the opening goal in April's play-offs final win.

WITTON say prudence, not performances on the pitch, is the reason for releasing Ashley Stott following last night’s Mid-Cheshire FA Senior Cup success against Middlewich.

The striker, who scored twice in Albion’s promotion play-offs final success in April, was told before kick off that the club could not afford to keep him,

He insisted on playing though, ending his second spell in Wincham with two goals in a 9-1 win.

“I can envisage a day when this decision comes back to bite us on the backside,” rued manager Brian Pritchard.

“I don’t want to lose Ash, but the club comes first.

“It’s been an agonising decision to make about a player who will be fondly remembered for his contribution, particularly during the run-in last season.”

Stott, 24, will not be short of offers.

His goals tally for this term is 11 from 18 starts in league and cup, leaving him with a fine haul of 31 in 55 appearances overall.

However the arrival in the past fortnight of Oliver James and Steve Foster, the reigning Evo-Stik Northern Premier League player of the year, means Witton’s weekly wages spend is now higher than that budgeted for.

“It’s always the manager’s choice how the budget is spent, but we have to make sure the books are balanced, that’s the number one priority,” said chairman Mark Harris.

“We have to be prudent; our business model has been built on sustainability, and I fully intend for it to stay that way while I’m here.”

Stott’s departure is a surprise with Witton placed fourth in the Premier Division table with a six-points cushion inside the play-offs places.

Harris told the Guardian that the decision does not display a lack of ambition.

He added: “Does it mean we’re ruling out a push for promotion? No, of course not but it isn’t a case of trying to go up at any cost.”

Pritchard can still call upon a formidable attack with Foster and Shaun Tuck, the current Division One North Golden Boot holder following a fine season with Skelmersdale United.

Both were on target against Middlewich too.

“Something had to give,” added the Albion boss.

“In the past, when decisions like this have been made, they’ve been for football reasons and not economic ones.

“If the situation were to change, then I wouldn’t hesitate to have him back.

“It’s important to make clear though that this is not a crisis, rather a case of us being sensible to as to avoid any problems further down the line.”

Stott signed for Witton in February from New Mills, returning to a club he left for Welsh Premier League club Aberystwyth Town in January 2011.

He supplied assists for two of Albion’s three goals in a play-offs semi finals hammering of Farsley, scoring two of his own in the final against Curzon Ashton days later.

Comments (6)

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3:50pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Chad68 says...

Mid Cheshire Club in balance the books shock!
Mid Cheshire Club in balance the books shock! Chad68

3:50pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Chad68 says...

Mid Cheshire Club in balance the books shock!
Mid Cheshire Club in balance the books shock! Chad68

4:42pm Wed 21 Nov 12

stardusziggy says...

sad news,wish him well. no critisism of club though. up the albs!
sad news,wish him well. no critisism of club though. up the albs! stardusziggy

4:43pm Wed 21 Nov 12

THETELLEROFTALES says...

Ashley.

Thanks for your goals and your support of Wittons cause.

JR heard to say 'wanting to cut their cloth accordingly....what on earth does that mean?'
Ashley. Thanks for your goals and your support of Wittons cause. JR heard to say 'wanting to cut their cloth accordingly....what on earth does that mean?' THETELLEROFTALES

5:28pm Fri 23 Nov 12

WHS says...

What is happening at Witton? We sign a man with an awful past reputation and dispense with a decent lad like Stott. Not only that but they even appear to be considering sharing the ground with Vics (Under whatever new guise they may cloak themselves in, a thing I thought the club would NEVER again consider.)
We may do well this year, we may do well for a while, but at what cost? To me the club seem to be willing to sell its' soul for short term gain. They are the only club in Northwich, while that remains the case they are sure of good gates, why risk that position by offering a lifeline to their arch enemies? Foster for Stott is the Manager's decision, he has to get results to stay in a job, that I understand, but a ground-share with Vics? that is nothing short of a smack in the face for all the long term Wittoners who have had to suffer years of abuse from Vics fans and who are at long last feeling "top of he walk."
The Board must surely realise giving Vics a lifeline is a DEFINITE "NO, NO".
WHS>
What is happening at Witton? We sign a man with an awful past reputation and dispense with a decent lad like Stott. Not only that but they even appear to be considering sharing the ground with Vics (Under whatever new guise they may cloak themselves in, a thing I thought the club would NEVER again consider.) We may do well this year, we may do well for a while, but at what cost? To me the club seem to be willing to sell its' soul for short term gain. They are the only club in Northwich, while that remains the case they are sure of good gates, why risk that position by offering a lifeline to their arch enemies? Foster for Stott is the Manager's decision, he has to get results to stay in a job, that I understand, but a ground-share with Vics? that is nothing short of a smack in the face for all the long term Wittoners who have had to suffer years of abuse from Vics fans and who are at long last feeling "top of he walk." The Board must surely realise giving Vics a lifeline is a DEFINITE "NO, NO". WHS> WHS

7:01pm Wed 28 Nov 12

WHS says...

Someone on the Witton web site on hearing Ashley was being allowed to go said he thought the player was more suited to a lower league. He got that wrong; Stott has just signed for Vauxhall Motors in the league above us!! I believe it was a mistake to let him go and keep Foster who let's face it does not have a very good reputation. Not only that Foster is 31, Stott 24.
WHS
Someone on the Witton web site on hearing Ashley was being allowed to go said he thought the player was more suited to a lower league. He got that wrong; Stott has just signed for Vauxhall Motors in the league above us!! I believe it was a mistake to let him go and keep Foster who let's face it does not have a very good reputation. Not only that Foster is 31, Stott 24. WHS WHS

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