Dean Holdsworth

Holdsworth Consortium Completes Trotters Takeover

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Mitchell Young reports on the latest takeover news at Bolton Wanderers… 

Sky Bet Championship side Bolton Wanderers has been sold for £7.5 million to the Sport Shield Group Consortium (SSGC) headed by former player Dean Holdsworth.

The 47-year-old striker, took charge of newly promoted Ryman Premier side Brentwood Town at the start of the season in a new challenge for the former Wimbledon man.

However, Holdsworth had to relinquish his position as manager due to his pursuit of other business ventures, which included the possible Trotters takeover as reported exclusively by Rising East back in November.

The SSGC will now take ownership of the club, pending consent from the Football League.

The club was due to appear in the High Court over unpaid taxes of £3m, but the case has been adjourned for a fortnight in order to complete the takeover.

Despite the adjournment Bolton could still face administration, if they does not pay the outstanding debt before the 14-day deadline.

The Trotters could also suffer a 12-point deduction, which would send the former Premier League side into League One.

Bolton board advisor, Trevor Birch confirmed during the hearing that a Sales and Purchase agreement was now in place.

Speaking to The Bolton News, Holdsworth, who’s set to become the new chairman said he’s, “honoured to be part of this club again”.


Holdsworth leaves Brentwood in pursuit of Bolton Takeover

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Mitchell Young reports on the shock departure of Dean Holdsworth at Non-League club Brentwood Town…

Dean Holdsworth steps down as manager of non-league club Brentwood Town just five months into his position due to business commitments.

The former Bolton Wanderers striker has been linked with a possible takeover of his former side in a consortium.

Other business commitments include, being the chief executive of the Non-League Footballers Association which was a factor in not being able to fully commit to the club – despite his positive start.

Holdsworth has had a decent start at the Essex club, overseeing Brentwood’s tough life in the Isthmian Ryman Premier League after promotion last season.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with a great chairman and people at the club, the players have been superb”, said Holdsworth after he spoke to the Brentwood Gazzette.

Brentwood currently sit 20th in the league six points off the relegation zone with a game in hand and go into a tough away fixture to AFC Bideford in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy at the weekend.

Big loss

Holdsworth made history during his short spell at the non-league club, as he took them to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time – before being knocked out to the lowest ranked team at the time Didcot Town.

George Borg one of Holdsworth’s coaching staff will be the Caretaker Manager for the long away trip to Devon on Saturday.

Brentwood Town’s official Twitter page said: “Dean Holdsworth has stepped down as manager of the club. A new appointment will be made in due course”.

“I still remain at the club in a role in which I can be involved, I didn’t want to let them down due to other commitments.” he added.

The ex-Wimbledon player will still remain at the club in a Director of Football role.

“It’s a big loss for Brentwood Town. Holdsworth brought a wealth of experience to the club and guided them to a successful start in the Ryan Premier Division.” said Brentwood Official Martin Voller.

“He helped recreate the excellent team spirit we saw under the previous management and we wish him well for the future.” He added.

Borg is certain to be one of the main contenders for the permanent role as manager and Assistant Manager Steve Portway may also join the shortlist of possible candidates.

Also as a fan Voller tweeted his interest in the managerial vacancy: “So I’ve seen four managers go at Brentwood Town FC. Just Appoint me already…I’ve a degree and everything! #NewGaffer”.

Ryman League Premier: VCD Athletic 0 Brentwood Town 2

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Brentwood Town gained their first win in five league games after a comfortable 2-0 away victory over bottom of the table VCD Athletic.

Two second half goals sealed the three points for Brentwood, Sam Lechmere with the opener shortly after the break with a powerful strike. Defender Ryan O’Rawe extended Brentwood’s advantage with a header from a set piece.

Dean Holdsworth made three changes to his lineup that won 2-0 at home to Aylesbury in the FA Trophy Replay on Tuesday. Liam Hope moves to the bench as Shad Ngandu returns from injury, Jamie Guy is preferred to Laurence Vaughan and Sam Lechmere is in place of Tom Richardson.

The home side had to make an unexpected change before the start of play, as VCD goalkeeper Charlie Thomas was injured in the warm-up and was replaced by outfield player Ashley Probets

VCD nearly opened the scoring six minutes in as Nigel Neita’s cross was met by Donovan Simmonds but his header went just wide.

Brentwood struggled to turn possession into chances, but a free-kick from Mitch Hahn was whipped in and headed goalwards by Ryan O’Rawe but was comfortably saved by Ashley Probets.

Mark Nwokeji for ‘The Vickers’ has a shot on the edge of the box, which was straight at Guest.

In the second half, Hahn went for glory from just inside the VCD half and looked to be heading wide but swerved back and come back off the far post. Hahn shortly after had another vicious shot from a tight angle which was parried by Probets.

Brentwood broke the deadlock 52 minutes in, as a long throw by Hahn was not cleared by VCD and came to the edge of the box for Lechmere to fire his shot in – giving the keeper no chance.

‘The Blues’ doubled their lead as Andy Freeman’s corner was whipped into the danger area, which O’Rawe met at the far post to head past Probets.

VCD made a change in keepers, as Probets moved into outfield and Rob Budd was introduced in goal in place of Richie Graham.

The home side nearly got back into the match, as Davidson Tejaiye had a shot from the edge of the box but was parried away by Guest.

Brentwood almost got a third, as Hahn’s low ball across the box came to substitute Jordan Holdsworth at the far post but the defender did enough to force his shot wide and held on for the vital win.

VCD Athletic Lineup: 1 Ashley Probets, 2 Frantz Tchonang, 3 Aaron Wickam, 4 Mark Nwokeji (69), 5 Joseph Bruce, 6 Ricardo Joseph, 7 Richie Graham (64), 8 Davidson Tejaiye, 9 Nigel Neita, 10 Donovan Simmonds, 11 Kojo Awotwi

Substitutes: 12 Lheureux Meuga (69), 15 Harry Brickwood, 16 Mathias Bakare, 17 Rob Budd (64)

Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Martyn Guest, 2 Martn Stokes ©, 3 Andrew Freeman, 4 Nicky Symons, 5 Paul Goodacre, 6 Ryan O’Rawe, 7 Mitch Hahn, 8 Shad Ngandu (82), 9 Craig Reid, 10 Jamie Guy (88), 11 Sam Lechmere (71)

Substitutes: 12 Laurence Vaughan (88), 14 Jordan Holdsworth (82), 15 Liam Hope (71), 16 Charlie Portway, 17 Connor Hogan

Attendance: 90

FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying: Didcot Town 4 Brentwood Town 2

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10-man Brentwood Town are out of the FA Cup after they let slip an early two goal lead, as they lost 4-2 away to Didcot Town and fall short of a place in the FA Cup first round proper.

‘The Blues’ set off at a canter and grabbed an early two goal lead as Craig Reid opened the scoring for Brentwood with a long range strike. Jamie Guy doubled Brentwood’s advantage shortly afterwards, as he smartly tucked away his shot.

Didcot then started the comeback, as Mark Janes’ low strike found its way past Norton. The equaliser came just before half-time as Jack Longford’s bullet header brought Didcot back on terms.

Joshua Banton was then sent off for violent conduct shortly into the second half.

Didcot broke down Brentwood and got infront, as Josh Dutton-Black slotted in and finished with a fourth – as Jack Powell put Didcot into the first round proper for the first time.

Dean Holdsworth made three changes to their side that knocked out Hoddesdon Town in the previous round, as Jack Norton was drafted in for the absent Martyn Guest. Joshua Banton and Liam Hope replaced Andrew Freeman and Leon Fisher who drop to the bench.

Brentwood took an early lead just eight minutes in as Jamie Guy knocked the ball down to Craig Reid who spotted the keeper off his line and hit his shot from over 25 yards, to rocket into the back of the net.

‘The Blues’ extended their advantage within two minutes of the first, after a loose pass from the Didcot defender put Guy in to burst towards goal and slotted it past Leigh Bedwell.

Didcot were back in the game within six minutes, as the ball was worked out to Janes and his snap shot skidded off the surface – to squirm underneath Jack Norton.

Reid went for another spectacular shot on the volley this time from 20 yards, which was scrambled away by Bedwell.

Didcot grabbed the equaliser five minutes before the break, as James Heapys’ clipped cross to the far post was met by Longford to power his header home.

Brentwood almost converted virtually from the restart, as a goal mouth scramble was poked goalwards by Reid which had to be cleared off the line by Andrew Ballard.

In the second half, Reid was put through on goal and as he tried to tuck it past Bedwell he wasequal to it as he palmed the shot away with a strong hand.

Brentwood were reduced to 10-men just seven minutes in, after Banton was penalised for pulling the Didcot players shirt, as he retreated he then retaliated with a head-butt on substitute Jack Powell and was sent to the stands.

Didcot pilled on the pressure, as Brentwood were a man down – Longford’s volley on the edge off the box was well-saved by Norton down low to his left.

From the resulting corner, Adam Learoyds’ header looked goal bound but for Nicky Symons to instinctively hook the ball off the line, to keep Didcot at bay.

Brentwood were on the ropes and were stretched at the back, as the home side found a breakthrough with 10 minutes remaining, from a loose ball which was not cleared by the Brentwood defence as Dutton-Black swept the ball inside the far post.

‘The Blues’ were so near to an equaliser after a poor back pass from the keeper Bedwell, to give Guy a one-on-one but his shot was saved again by Bedwell to make up for his opening mistake.

The home side finished with a flourish in injury-time due to Brentwood being outnumbered at the back. Heapy made his second assist after surging forward and cut the ball across the box for an unmarked Powell to fire in from close range – to put Didcot into the draw for the first round proper.

Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Jack Norton, 2 Joshua Banton, 2 Martyn Stokes ©, 4 Nicky Symons, 5 Paul Goodacre, 6 Ryan O’Rawe, 7 Shad Ngandu (75), 8 Mitch Hahn, 9 Craig Reid, 10 Jamie Guy, 11 Liam Hope (53)

Substitutes: 12 Tom Richardson (88), 14 Jordan Holdsworth, 15 Andrew Freeman (53), 16 Leon Fisher, 17 Laurence, 18 Robbie Rees (75), 20 Matt Belcher

Didcot Town: 1 Leigh Bedwell, 2 James Heapy, 3 James Organ, 4 Andrew Ballard, 5 Luke Carnell ©, Adam Learoyd, 7 Jack Longford, 8 Jack Self, 9 Mark Janes (17), 10 Mark Francis, 11 Josh Dutton-Black

Substitutes: 12 Jack Powell (17), 14 Jimmy Deabill, 15 Matthew Woodley, 16 Graham Edney, 17 Kieran Collins, 18 Joel Thompson (64), GK Josh Gannon

Attendance: 347

Link for interview with Craig Reid:

FA Cup Third Qualifying Round Replay: Brentwood Town 2 Hoddesdon Town 1

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Brentwood Town are through to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time, after coming from behind to score an injury-time winner to beat a courageous 10-man Hoddesdon Town side.

Hoddesdon two leagues below Brentwood, stunned the home side to take a shock lead in the final third of the game as Ricky Light’s deflected shot found its way in.

Brentwood responded shortly after as a free-kick was headed by Charlie Edwards and found its way into his own net.

The home side grasped the victory in the additional time, as Reed’s half-volley was belted into the top corner to book Brentwood’s place into the next round.

Jack Bartlett then saw red, after Brentwood lead with a dangerous tackle which sent him to the stands’ with only moments remaining.

Dean Holdsworth named an unchanged starting XI in the goalless draw against their counterparts, Hoddesdon on Saturday.

Brentwood had the first real opportunity 20 minutes in, as a free-kick by Mitch Hahn was punched out to Leon Fisher – who knocked it forward for Ryan O’Rawe to flick goalwards which had to be palmed away by Reece Buck.

Hoddesdon then showed their attacking threat, as Joss Lillis was given the ball out wide – he then cut it back for Ricky Light to meet, but lashed his shot over the bar.

Neither side gave much away in the first half in the cagey encounter, as both sides were determined not to concede.

In the second half, Brentwood had a great chance from a half cleared corner as Fisher’s shot outside the box was blocked by the Hoddesdon defender and deflected just wide.

Hoddesdon then had the first clear-cut chance of the match, as Brett O’Connor dribbled across the box into the box slipped the ball through to Tommy Wade whose shot was well saved by Guest and cleared.

Brentwood then went down the other end and a cross from Hahn was helped goalwards by O’Rawe and had to be palmed away from safety by Buck.

‘The Lilywhites’ took the lead 73 minutes in, as a long ball up by Hoddesdon caught Brentwood napping. Wade then laid it off for Light to strike which deflected and Guest could not keep it out.

Brentwood then equalised just two minutes later, as a central Hahn’s free-kick was lifted into the box which Ngandu went up to head goalwards but came off Charlie Edwards for Hoddesdon and into the top corner.

‘The Blues’ then grabbed an almighty important goal in the second minute of injury-time, newbie Reed had the ball fall sweetly for him to hit a half-volley just inside the box into the top corner.

Shortly after the restart, Bartlett was sent off for a serious foul on substitute Sam Lechmere to leave Hoddesdon down to 10-men, with seconds remaining.

Brentwood then held off the last onslaught from Hoddesdon to reach the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time and will travel away to Didcot Town in the next round.

Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Martyn Guest, 2 Martyn Stokes ©, 3 Andrew Freeman, 4 Nicky Symons, 5 Paul Goodacre, 6 Ryan O’Rawe, 7 Mitch Hahn, 8 Shad Ngandu (82), 9 Craig Reed, 10 Jamie Guy, 11 Leon Fisher

Substitutes: 12 Liam Hope, 14 Sam Lechmere (82), 15 Jordan Holdsworth, 16 Connor Hogan, 17 Tom Richardson, 18 Josh Banton, 19 Charlie Portway

Hoddesdon Town Lineup: 1 Reece Buck, 2 Ollie Sharman, 3 Ed Taylor, 4 Phil Lowen, 5 Jack Bartlett, 6 Ryan McMenemy, 7 Ricky Light, 8 Joss Lillis, 9 Tommy Wade, 10 Charlie Edwards, 11 Brett O’Connor

Substitutes: 12 Glenn Draper, 14 Mark Twumasi, 15 Connor Scully, 16 Dan Ferrigno, 17 Max Mitchell, 18 Harry Spicer, 19 Lee Robinson (GK)

Attendance: 294

Follow link for interview with Brentwood Town Assistant Steve Portway:

Ryman League Premier: Brentwood Town 1 Merstham FC 2

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Brentwood Town suffer back to back defeats due to two first half goals which cost them as they lost 2-1 against Merstham at the Brentwood Arena.

The away side grabbed two first half goals after a great individual run by Tommy Hutchings found its way inside the near post. Merstham added to their lead from the penalty spot after a handball inside the box, which Fabio Saravia converted.

Jamie Guy gave Brentwood an immediate boost in the second half as he slotted the ball in from close range, for his seventh goal in 11 games.

Brentwood assistant Steve Portway brought in Tom Richardson and Sam Lechmere into the side that were defeated away at Canvey Island on Saturday to replace Liam Hope and Leon Fisher.

‘The Blues’ almost pounced on an early mistake, as Mitch Hahn’s free-kick was spilled by the Merstham keeper Brandon Daly but Brentwood could not react to the loose ball.

The visitors then went on the counter attack from the clearance, as winger Stefan Cox’s cross found Saravia at the back post, to head across goal which Martyn Guest at full stretch denied Merstham the lead.

Merstham took the lead 24 minutes in, as a ball was put into the path of Hutchings out wide who went passed Ryan O’Rawe and got a low shot off, which crept in at the near post.

Just four minutes later, Nicky Symons went sliding in on Cox whose cross hit his raised arm which the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Saraiva stepped up to double Mersham’s advantage despite Guest’s best efforts.

In the second half, Brentwood got a quick-fire goal after a long hit cross by Hahn was headed back into the box by Captain Martyn Stokes to Guy, who held it up and on the turn nestled his shot into the bottom corner.

Brentwood went for broke as they brought on striker Liam Hope for Tom Richardson and Leon Fisher for Sam Lechmere, before and shortly after the hour mark.

Merstham nearly added a third as substitute Michael Olarewaju intercepted Paul Goodacre in the corner, which he cut back to the edge of the box for Tom Kavanagh, but his shot went over the bar.

‘The Blues’ tried to hunt for an equaliser in the closing stages but lacked the final ball as the game pleated out. Brentwood drop to 16th as Merstham move up to 18th with three points.

Brentwood now go turn to Cup action as they travel to Hoddesdon Town in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Martyn Guest, 2 Leon Gordon (13), 3 Paul Goodacre, 4 Nicky Symons, 5 Ryan O’Rawe, 6 Martyn Stokes ©, 7 Mitch Hahn, 8 Shad Ngandu, 9 Tom Richardson (65), 10 Jamie Guy, 11 Sam Lechmere (57)

Substitutes: 12 Liam Hope (65), 14 Leon Fisher (57), 15 Jordan Holdsworth, 16 Phillip Anderson (13), 17 Daryl Robson

Merstham Lineup: 1 Brandon Daly, 2 Simon Cooper, 3 Antone Douglas, 4 Lewis Gonsalves, 5 Tutu Henriques, 6 Kershaney Samuels, 7 Stefan Cox (83), 8 Tom Kavanagh, 9 Omar Folkes (54), 10 Tommy Hutchings © (89), 11 Fabio Saraiva

Substitutes: 12 Michael Abnett, 14 Aaron Rhule (53), 15 Dexter Peters, 16 Jerald Aboagye (83), 17 Michael Olarewaju (89)

Attendance: 90

Ryman League Premier: Canvey Island 1 Brentwood Town 0

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Canvey Island move into the play-off as they hold off a resolute Brentwood Town with a 1-0 victory, at the Frost Financial Stadium.

Tambeson Eyong with the vital goal in the match as he bundled the ball home from close range in the second half, as Canvey extend their run to four straight wins.

Dean Holdsworth went with an unchanged starting lineup from their midweek victory over Needham Market.

Brentwood showed their attacking threat early on, through a set piece as Mitch Hahn’s corner was met by Captain Martyn Stokes, which went just wide.

Hahn again with a free-kick this time which found Stokes once again at the far post and should have scored from inside the six-yard box but headed over.

Canvey then almost made Brentwood rue their missed chance as Marlon Agyakwa had the ball out wide on the edge of the box and went to dink Martyn Guest but he tipped it over the bar from safety.

Hahn’s corner again caused the Canvey defence problems as Paul Goodacre this time met the cross which was palmed away for a corner by Conor Gough.

‘The Blues’ dominated in the air, especially from corners with another great chance as O’Rawes’ bullet header was parried away again by Gough.

In the second half, ‘The Gulls’ shot out the blocks and nearly took the lead through Dan Gilchrist as he managed to turn Stokes and his low shot went just wide.

Just after the hour mark, Guest gifted Canvey a great opportunity as a dangerous ball across the box was pounced on by Guest. He then spilled the ball and Harrison Chatting could not poke it in as O’Rawe blocked the shot on the line and Stokes evaded further danger with the clearance.

Canvey took the lead 67 minutes in as Glenn Poole’s free-kick was not dealt with by the Brentwood defence and was scrambled in by Eyong from close range, for his fourth goal of the season.

Brentwood nearly grabbed an equaliser as Nicky Symons clipped a ball for Jamie Guy to burst into the box and fired a shot at Gough which squirmed through his legs but was cleared off the line.

Canvey could have sealed it with four minutes to go as Pooles’ corner was met by Captain Richard Halle but the header went just over.

Brentwood looked for a late leveller as they pilled bodies forward as substitutes Sam Lechmere and Jordan Holdsworth entered the frame but could not create one final clear-cut chance, as Brentwood left empty handed.

Canvey Island Lineup: 1 Conor Gough, 2 Steve Sheehan, 3 Ashley Dumas, 4 Tambeson Eyong, 5 Richard Halle ©, 6 Lawrence Yiga, 7 Marlon Agyakwa (58), 8 Glenn Poole, 9 Dan Gilchrist (90), 10 Martin Touhy, 11 Harrison Chatting

Substitutes: 12 Jake Pitty (90), 14 Omar Lawson, 15 Ozzy Adeniji (58) (90+2), 16 Sean Bonnett-Johnson (90+2), 17 Freddie Warren

Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Martyn Guest, 2 Leon Gordon, 3 Paul Goodacre (75), 4 Nicky Symons, 5 Ryan O’Rawe, 6 Martyn Stokes ©, 7 Mitch Hahn, 8 Shad Ngandu, 9 Liam Hope (84), 10 Jamie Guy, 11 Leon Fisher (84)

Substitutes: 12 Tom Richardson, 14 Daryl Robson, 15 Phillip Anderson (75), 16 Sam Lechmere (84), 17 Jordan Holdsworth (84)

Attendance: 310