THATCHAM TOWN have sacked manager Neil Baker following a recent poor run of results - a sequence which ironically ended with a 2-0 win at Bemerton Heath Harlequins on Saturday.

Baker said: "I was relieved of my duties during the week by chairman Phil Holdaway due to poor performances of late and pressure from spectators on the committee.

"It was supposed to be a committee decision taken on Monday night - yet, apparently, none of the committee knew about it.

"In fact, two of them rang me up after reading about the decision in the local paper. I'm absolutely stunned about it," gasped Baker.

"When there were constraints put upon the budget, I told them that I'd need three years working with the kids and, 14 months down the line, I've been sacked.

"It's disappointing and frustrating that I can't finish my time with them because I believe they will become successful - I'd loved to have seen it through," sighed Baker, whose 18 years with the Berkshire club have come to an abrupt end.

Youth boss Steve Melledew and Baker's assistant Kevin Rowe are taking care of team matters for now but Melledew has already made it clear that he doesn't want the job.

Rowe admitted that he may apply for the vacant post, saying: "I may be interested in the job but I'm not going to do it by myself - I want to be working alongside someone."

Two headed goals gave Thatcham their victory at Western Way, the first on 25 minutes a bullet header by Paul Taplin and the second after 75 minutes came from Sean Cook.

Wimborne moved into second in the table, two points behind leaders Eastleigh, after condemning Newbury to their third defeat in eight days with a 3-1 scoreline at The Cuthbury.

"It was an excellent win and we played very well in the second half," purred Magpies boss Paul Arnold. "There was a lot of huff and puff from us in the first half but we upped it a gear after the break and it was nice to win well.

Geoff Neville had given Newbury an interval lead but two goals in the opening five minutes of the second half turned the game on its head.

First, sub Aaron Turner's shot was parried by the keeper and Mark Smith side-footed home the loose ball and, minutes later, Smith returned the compliment for Stuart Cannie to put the Magpies in front. Wimborne wrapped up the points 20 minutes from time when Jamie Sturgess picked out Turner who cut his way through the Newbury defence before beating the keeper in a one-on-one.

Newbury manager Andy Lyne said: "I thought we deserved a point but we do have stacks of players out injured at the moment, all the way from shin splints to operations.

"We've been beaten by Eastleigh, Totton and Wimborne in the last week and they are all difficult enough matches anyway without having your playing resources fully stretched.

"A few games ago we had 22 players potentially available to the first team and now we've got ten. We haven't got sufficient cover in depth and confidence is down," reflected Lyne.

Blackfield & Langley boss Terry Smith was a happy man after watching his team triumph 2-0 in their relegation six-pointer at Whitchurch.

"That win was absolutely vital and it gives us a little bit of breathing space," smiled Smith.

"I'm still some way from having a settled side but Stuart Monk has done well in only his second game for the club and the two lads brought in from the reserve team, Paul Adlam and Lee Hayes, have grown up a bit today.

"We've got another tough game coming up at Downton next week but at least I may have a few first-team regulars coming back into contention again."

Both Blackfield goals came in the last 20 minutes - Steve Wheatland getting ahead of a defender and keeper to knock in Lee Hayes' cross before Danny Robbins rocketed home a second from just inside the penalty area.

Downton continue to pick up valuable points - this time in a 1-1 draw against Fareham Town at Cams Alders.

Chris King put the Wiltshire side ahead on 55 minutes after the keeper could only parry Russell James' effort with Lloyd Mitchell rifling in a stunning 25-yarder ten minutes from time.

Fareham boss Jon Gittens groaned: "There weren't a lot of positive things that we could take from the game today. We didn't do enough and struggled to raise the tempo.

"They've had one shot and scored while the game was all about us, but they got behind the ball and worked hard. I'm afraid it's two points dropped for us."

The mouth-watering clash between unbeaten rivals Lymington & New Milton and table-toppers Eastleigh at Fawcetts Field fell victim to the weather, as was the Portland United versus Cowes Sports clash, which was washed out by 10.30am.