WHEN Kevin Watkin agreed to take over as Holker Old Boys’ manager, he probably did not envisage such an eventful start to his time in charge.

From a 5-0 triumph over Atherton LR last Saturday, which saw Holker secure their first win of the season, to Wednesday evening’s 5-3 defeat at home to Carlisle City in which the home side had three players sent off, it has been a wild first week in charge.

Watkin put his name forward to oversee the team following Guy Heffernan’s departure, with ex-Holker trio Paul Southward, Glyn Dixon and Sean Mellen returning to Rakesmoor Lane as assistants.

Club chairman Maurice Watkin - father of Kevin - expects the four to remain in charge for rest of the 2018-19 campaign and is pleased to have them in place.

“That will probably go on until the end of the season because I can’t see anyone wanting to leave a club if we wanted to change things mid-season,” said Watkin senior.

“It wouldn’t be easy for someone to come in mid-season and change things around, so those four have taken the role on as a group.

“It’s good because you need more than one or two and they can bounce ideas off each other. Kevin is still playing and the other three are on the touchline, and they all talk to each other.”

Holker had looked to be on course for their second win in North West Counties League First Division North on Wednesday against their high-flying visitors from Carlisle.

Nath Reid and Gareth Smith had fired Old Boys into a 2-0 lead, but goalkeeper Sam Stephens’ dismissal for a second yellow card sparked a bizarre turn of events.

Player-manager Watkin, usually a midfielder, had to pull on the gloves as an administrative error meant their substitute keeper could not take to the field.

City pulled one back just before half time, but JP Stanway restored the two-goal advantage after the break.

More drama followed though and the referee became the talking point - first when he awarded a contentious penalty to Carlisle, which they scored from, and then when he dismissed goalscorer Reid with two swift yellow cards.

City grabbed an equaliser with 10 minutes left and James Bonner became the third Holker player sent off after picking up two more yellows, with the hosts unable to hold out.

Despite the outcome, Holker’s display against the league leaders with 11 men was encouraging for chairman Watkin ahead of tomorrow’s trip to AFC Blackpool.

“We said after the game it’s a hard lesson we’ve learnt, but it’s onwards and upwards, and carry on doing what we’re doing,” he said.