Jamie Collins sacked by Hawks after just two wins in 19 league games
The decision was taken at a board meeting this morning, and follows Wednesday’s 2-1 league defeat by Eastbourne at Westleigh Park.
A stoppage-time winner condemned Hawks to their sixth defeat in eight games in 2023/24 and left them rock bottom of the NLS.
In terms of points, it is the club’s worst ever start to a season since they were formed in 1998.
A total of four points from eight games has beaten the previous low - five (five draws, three defeats) - set in Hawks’ second season, in the Southern Premier League in 1999/2000.
Even when Hawks were relegated from the Conference South in 2015/16, they had 11 points on the board after eight matches.
In a statement on the club website chairman Derek Pope said: “After a difficult start to the season, where results are evident, it has been decided to part ways with Jamie.
"He (Jamie) has been an integral part of this club for many years, playing in the successful FA Cup run in 2008 and then returning to club a few years ago, first as a player, then coach and eventually manager.
“Despite the difficult situation the club have found themselves in, I have to agree with many supporters that Jamie will remain a much loved member of our club for many years.”
A managerial change was almost inevitable – Hawks have won just two of their last 24 NLS fixtures, drawing eight and losing 14.
They have not kept a clean sheet in their last 25 league games, since a 3-0 home win over Chelmsford in February.
Since Collins took over from Paul Doswell in March, Hawks have won twice in 19 attempts - picking up a total of 13 points out of a possible 57.
Both those wins were by a 4-3 margin and courtesy of very late winners - at relegated Concord last April and on Bank Holiday Monday against Yeovil last month.
Keeping all 11 players on the pitch was a constant problem for Doswell, and the disciplinary record has not really improved under his successor.
When Joe Newton saw red in Collins’ first game as boss at Dulwich in March, he became the sixth Hawk to be red carded in 40 days.
James Roberts’ midweek dismissal against Eastbourne followed that of Jake McCarthy in the opening home game of this season. The midfielder was sent off with Hawks leading 1-0, in a match they lost 4-2 to Chippenham.
Collins himself has also been red carded, early in the second half of the Yeovil game, for comments made to a match official.
Hawks welcome Truro City to Westleigh Park this weekend, with the White Tigers having come close to beating Bath City on Tuesday.
The Romans, who had gone top by beating Hawks 2-0 last weekend, snatched a 1-1 draw thanks to a 90th minute leveller.
Still, Truro have won two and drawn two of their last four league fixtures, including a 1-0 victory at Eastbourne.
Ex-Hawks boss Shaun Gale, who Collins only brought back to the club as a coach last week, will be in charge for the Truro game.