SUTTON United have announced that former Eastleigh boss Paul Doswell will not be returning to Gander Green Lane.

Doswell, who masterminded the Spitfires’ meteoric rise from the Wessex League to the Conference South, had been with the Us since 2008.

He recently took leave of absence to attend to personal matters, leaving his right-hand man, ex-Saint Ian Baird – yet another former Eastleigh boss – in temporary charge.

But Sutton have confirmed: “We are sorry to announce that after eleven years as Sutton United manager Paul Doswell has tendered his resignation with immediate effect.

“Paul had decided to take a break from the role a month ago, intending to return for next season, but he has now decided that he is unable to continue due to the time and distance involved in travelling from his home in Winchester, and has made his decision permanent.

“Ian Baird, Micky Stephens and Matt Gray will continue to take charge of the team for Saturday’s last game of the season at Dover.”

Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott reflected: "How do you begin to pay tribute to Dos’s contribution to Sutton United over the past eleven years?

"We were at a low ebb when he joined us, when if you had said that we would within ten years be playing clubs such as Leyton Orient, Hartlepool and Tranmere as equals you would probably have been laughed at.

"But it has been an unforgettable ride, including two league championships, our highest ever league placing and, of course, an experience in the FA Cup the like of which we have never seen before and may never see again.

"Together with fulfilling his vision of having a pitch where the clubs’ teams could all play, and which could be opened to the community, he leaves the club in a position that was barely conceivable when he took over.

“His enthusiasm and commitment to Sutton United has been remarkable, and he has pulled everyone at the club along with him in his desire to be the best that we can beat our level .

"We are very sad that he has made this decision, but fully understand his reasons for doing so and wish him and his family, which we know is so important to him, every happiness in the future, although we hope we will still see him, and them, at a club where they will always be welcome.”