Ady Baker has resigned as Littlehampton Town Football Club boss following their Southern Combination League Premier Division derby defeat to Arundel this morning.
Penalties in either half from Lee Mottershead and Alex Biggs fired Mullets to a 2-0 victory over ten-man Golds at The Sportsfield.
The loss was a 13th from 19 league matches so far this season - leaving Littlehampton rooted to the bottom - four points adrift of place-above Eastbourne United.
A poor recent run has seen Golds beaten in each of their last six matches in all competitions, with Baker deciding to call time on his 18-month reign as boss following the defeat to Arundel.
Littlehampton chairman Rob McAlees admitted it was sad to see Baker depart and said: “Myself and Ady sat down after the defeat to Arundel and Ady felt it was right for him to leave. The table does not lie - we’ve struggled for results this season.
"Ady is a friend away from football, so it was not nice having the discussion we did with regards to him resigning. I’ve never known someone give as much time as Ady did during his time as Littlehampton manager, it’s such a shame results have not been better this season.
“Christmas can be quite a difficult time in terms of bringing someone new in, we’ll assess and look to appoint Ady’s replacement in the new year.”
Starting the day bottom, Golds welcomed two-places above rivals Arundel for a crunch Boxing Day derby.
Littlehampton had Josh Bates shown a straight red card for an alleged stamp after 15 minutes - leaving Golds with it all to do.
Shane Brazil was hauled down in the area two minutes later. Mottershead slammed home the resulting penalty to fire Arundel ahead.
Centre-half Jordan Dudas saw a header cannon back of the crossbar as Mullets could have gone in further ahead at the break. Connor Bull was denied his first Arundel goal by the offside flag early in the second, before Brazil was wiped out once again and another penalty was awarded seven minutes from time. Mullets skipper Biggs fired home to wrap up a derby victory. Arundel boss Richard Towers was full of praise for his players’ after the win and said: “We could and should of had more than the two goals we scored. This was a massive match, so to take the three points will give everyone a boost. We’ve beaten teams around us in recent weeks, which has been crucial is us moving up the table.”
Managerless Golds go to rivals East Preston for their final league game of 2017 on Saturday. Coach Steve Tabor is set to take the team until Baker’s replacement is appointed.
In-form Mullets, who’ve won three of their previous five matches in the SCFL Premier Division, travel to 17th-placed Worthing United - now a place-below Arundel - for what will be their final action of the year.
LITTLEHAMPTON TOWN: Hutchings; Sharp, McKay, Bates, Bell; Kempson, Ball; Bankole, M.Hand, Pattenden; Cole. Subs: Heath (M.Hand), Chaplin (Sharp), Amoo (Pattenden), Sparks, Vine.
ARUNDEL: Stevens; Lofting, Dudas, Dollner, Hunter; Jephson, Mottershead, A.Biggs; Jarvis, Brazil, Bull. Subs: Griffin (Mottershead, 55), Heffron (Jephson, 60), Roberts (Jarvis, 85).