Witham Town have unveiled their new manager as Mark Ashford.

Ashford, who has most recently been working as assistant boss at fellow Bostik League division north side Heybridge Swifts, is taking over following the departure last month of Adam Flint.

Flint left to take the reins at Bostik League premier division Bishop's Stortford and, following a selection process that Witham chairman Mark Nicholls admitted hadn't been easy, Ashford has been announced as the new Town manager.

He arrives at the Village Glass Stadium with a wealth of coaching experience.

He is a UEFA A licence qualified coach and has previously managed at Stansted and also been assistant boss at Bowers and Pitsea as well as coaching at Bishop's Stortford and Billericay Town.

Nicholls said that he had been extremely impressed with the calibre of applicants for the Witham job, but a meeting late on Thursday night confirmed that they had their man.

The Town chairman said: "After Adam Flint's shocks departure, our search for a new manager is over and I can confirm the appointment of Mark Ashford.

"We had 57 applications for the position, of which there were some real high quality applicants.

"A shortlist was drawn up and 14 were interviewed for the vacant job where the task became even harder such

was the high standard.

"After a very late meeting on Wednesday night, Mark was asked back for a second interview on Thursday night by the club.

"Meanwhile, Mark had spoken to Swifts manager Jody Brown and Gary White, the Swifts chairman, and parted company the same day."

As well as being impressed with his previous coaching experience and managerial background in Essex non-league football, Nicholls said Witham's board had been particularly pleased with Ashford's desire to work to the club's ethos.

At the start of the managerial search, Nicholls had stressed the importance of the new boss having a desire to progress young players from within the club's structure and to allow them to flourish with the first-team set-up.

Nicholls added: "I know Witham over-achieve every season on the resources the club has to offer and Mark Ashford will have one of the smallest - if not the smallest - budgets to work with in the Bostik League north.

"But football should not just be about money and clubs should not gamble on success with money and putting the club in a dangerous position; clubs must live within their means.

"Mark is a local man and at his interview it was clear that he shares the same views of Witham Town FC and how we move forward.

"He is thrilled with the role and the opportunity and cannot wait to get started.

"He will be talking to the players soon and he knows it is about developing and improving the younger players.

"I know Mark will draw on a wealth of experience at this level from his time at Bowers and Pitsea and Heybridge Swifts as well as his time spent at Stansted, Billericay Town and Bishop's Storford."