Vines heads out of Town early

FRANCIS Vines is no longer the manager of Basingstoke Town after being asked to step aside by the board of directors on Sunday night.

His assistant, Steve Richardson, will take over as caretaker manager until a replacement is appointed, his first match being Tuesday's Hampshire Senior Cup semi-final against Fleet Town at the Camrose (kick-off 7.45pm).

Vines' resignation was announced by the club last Monday and was initially due to stay on until the end of the season. However, the board decided to ask him to step down following Saturday's 4-1 defeat away at Blue Square South strugglers St Albans City, during which the travelling support could be heard calling for him to leave the club immediately.

A statement issued on the club website said: "The board of directors has decided to ask Francis Vines to step aside from the post as first team manager of Basingstoke Town Football Club effective immediately.

"Steve Richardson takes over as caretaker manager and his first game in charge will be the Hampshire Senior Cup semi-final against Fleet Town this Tuesday.

"The club would like to thank Francis for his efforts over the past two years and wish him well for the future."

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