TONY Dolby has stepped down as Hastings United manager 24 hours after seeing his out-of-sorts side fail to win in the league for the 10th match running.
Dolby’s future in the managerial hot-seat has been the topic of much discussion in light of the team’s poor recent record and dwindling attendances.
The 3-2 defeat at home to a Horsham side which finished with only eight men means Hastings sit just above the relegation zone in the Ryman Premier.
His departure brings to an end a second stint as manager at The Pilot Field after taking over the reins in February 2009.
Summer signing Jamie Cade has also left the club and it is anticipated that one or two other players may follow him out of the exit door.
A club statement read: “United chairman Dave Walters has this afternoon confirmed that Tony Dolby’s second stint as manager of the club has come to an end, 24 hours after the U’s 3-2 defeat against eight-man Horsham at the Pilot Field.
“Having assembled what was widely considered to be a much improved squad during pre-season, Dolby had been confident of building on last year’s seventh place finish in the Premier Division, and a five-match unbeaten start to the 2010/11 campaign seemed to support the notion that United could even challenge for automatic promotion.
“But after suffering their first defeat of the season against title favourites Sutton, the U’s were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by Division One South side Bognor, and a run of just two wins in 20 games in all competitions has seen them slide down the table to the brink of the relegation zone, and exit the FA Trophy and the Sussex Senior Cup at home to lower league opponents.
“Yesterday’s extraordinary Sussex derby defeat proved to be the final straw for Dolby, and the club itself, with the two parties agreeing by mutual consent to go their separate ways, whilst it is sadly anticipated that one or two other members of the current playing squad may follow Jamie Cade’s decision to quit the club, with budgets still being closely monitored in light of increasingly dwindling attendances.”