STEVE Chalk has stepped down as manager of Shrewton United, and Stuart Withers has taken back the reins.

The 2-1 home defeat to Warminster Town on October 27 proved the last straw for the man who led Chalke Valley from Salisbury & District League football to the Wiltshire Premier League, before taking over at the Western League club in the summer of 2011. They finished 15th last term, and Chalk departs with Shrewton second from bottom, having won only two of their 15 games so far.

He explained the reasons for his decision: “It has been increasingly difficult to get a side together as the weeks have gone by and seeing as I couldn’t get people to play for me, for whatever reason, it is in the best interests of myself and the club that somebody else has a go.

“Hopefully the players will turn out for Stuart.

“I have enjoyed my time at Shrewton and would like to state quite categorically that I have no issues with the club and hopefully them none with me. I have decided to stand down in the hope that affairs on the pitch will improve.

“There are a lot of people that work extremely hard behind the scenes to keep the club running. I have nothing but thanks for their support and I wish them nothing but success going forward.

“While I do feel dreadfully let down by some, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the core of players who turned out every week and gave it their all. I would especially like to thank Anton Brownless (player-coach) for helping me during what has been not the easiest of times.

“I really took the decision after losing to Warminster. If we had anywhere near our best 11 against them, we would have beaten them easily. I realised then that enough was enough and having slept on it and talked it through with a couple of people, I decided it was in the best interests of all concerned, not least myself, to step aside.

“Hopefully now Shrewton can turn things around on the pitch, get a couple of results and kickstart a season which has been disappointing to date to say the least. The club and supporters definitely deserve that and with a great crop of youngsters coming through, I genuinely believe that if they can get through this sticky period the future will be a very good one.”

Withers has been involved with club in some capacity for 43 years, since joining as a player in 1969. He was the boss when they were promoted into the Western League, but was denied the opportunity to resume charge this weekend because their fixture at Elmore was postponed. Withers should get his next opportunity in the Les Phillips Cup at Hengrove Athletic next Saturday.