HARWICH and Parkeston chairman Tony Armstrong insists the club's committee had no choice but to part company with manager Kieron Shelley.

The Shrimpers boss was relieved of his duties following a committee meeting last Thursday night.

It followed a disappointing start to the campaign, during which the Shrimpers had only won four of their opening 16 Thurlow Nunn League fixtures.

They are fifth from bottom in division one south and had not won in nine matches, prior to Saturday's excellent 3-1 victory at Barkingside.

Armstrong admitted it was a tough decision but felt the committee had to act, in order to give the team more chance of climbing the table and securing a top-four promotion spot.

"We had to do something to resolve the situation," said the long-serving chairman.

"We discussed our predicament at length and a lot of consideration went into this decision.

"Gates have dropped to around the hundred-mark, which isn't sustainable at this level of football, and many of our sponsors and supporters weren't happy.

"A change was necessary and hopefully we've made the decision early enough to try and get back in contention for a top-four spot.

"That's why we wanted to make it now, rather than waiting any longer.

"As a club, we'd like to place on record our appreciation to Kieron.

"He did an excellent job last season and we wish him all the best.

"The decision to part company was a real predicament but the reality is that results haven't been as we hoped this year.

"We anticipated pushing on from last season and challenging for the promotion spots but sadly that hasn't happened.

"We'd let things run as long as we could and believe we've acted in the club's best interests, to try and turn things around and revive a failing season."

Shelley and assistant Mike Wallace guided Harwich to a fifth-place finish last term, in the process enjoying an explosive winning run of 12 games.

It equalled a post-war record previously set in 1964.

Wallace has been asked to take the team until the end of the year and he was in the dugout for Saturday's victory at Barkingside.

"Mike has agreed to take over until the end of the year and did an excellent job at the weekend," said Armstrong.

"Despite having a makeshift team and no recognised centre-halves, the boys' attitude was amazing and it was a very good result."

Harrison Banner scored twice and there was also a goal for Sean Bartlett.

Harwich are at home to Newbury Forest on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Meanwhile, Joe Knight has left the club and is taking a break from football, while he recovers from a long-term injury.