STOCKBRIDGE admit their decision to resign from the Sydenhams Wessex League Division One was a painful one.

But the 120-year-old west Hampshire club say they had no choice after having the stuffing knocked out of them by two cruel body blows.

First they lost most of their players following the departure of managers James Banks and Terry Chapman at the end of November.

Then, having been given two weeks off by the SWL to sort themselves out, the wet weather conspired against them, resulting in 14 matches in a row being postponed.

As a result, the new squad assembled by former manager Barry Andrews didn’t manage to play a game and, inevitably, some players drifted away, leaving Stockbridge with just a skeleton side.

In addition, the torrential rain has delayed the completion of their new changing rooms which are unlikely to be finished now until the end of the season.

A club statement said: “After taking a long, hard look at the situation, we concluded it was in the best interests of everyone that we declared our position early to lessen the inconvenience to other clubs in the league.”