NICK TANNER has resigned as Winterbourne manager after a disastrous start to the season.

The club were bottom of Hellenic Division One West having shipped ten goals in their opening three games, in which they used 23 players due to a freak injury crisis.

Former Almondsbury Town and Paulton Rovers midfielder Chris Marsh was due to take charge of the team for their game against New College Swindon last night and will also be at the helm for Saturday’s fixture against Trowbridge and the Bank Holiday Monday clash against Hook Norton, both at Oaklands Park.

Marsh has gained managerial experience at Highridge United and Axa, and has been given a chance to stake his claim for the job.

Winterbourne chairman Robyn Maggs said: “It’s there for him to lose. We’ve got three games close together so we had to get something organised.”

Former Liverpool and Bristol Rovers defender Tanner replaced long-serving boss Stewart Jones at the helm almost two years ago.

He was responsible for arranging the visit of Bruce Grobbelaar to Parkside Avenue in December 2009 and the friendly between Winterbourne and Liverpool Legends in July to celebrate the club’s centenary year in their first game at Oaklands Park.

Tanner stood down after the club’s first league game at their new ground - a 1-0 loss against Cricklade Town following a late goal.

Maggs said: “I wasn’t expecting that, but he felt he couldn’t do any more.”

Tanner said: “I’ve had fantastic support from the chairman Robyn Maggs but I just felt after nearly two years at the club it was time for a new face to take the club forward.

“Injuries didn’t help our start to the season but I stand by my comments that our strongest team was a good as anyone’s in the league and I’m convinced the lads will go on and prove that in the coming weeks.

“I’m proud to have been part of the move to Oaklands and to have helped put on the highly successful Liverpool Legends game to mark the club’s centenary, and I will be up to watch whenever I get the chance, but for the immediate future I think I just need to take a break from football.

“A manager’s job at any level is 24/7 if you want to try to do it properly and it takes over your life, whether people like it or not, and I need a bit of time to recharge my batteries.

“I wish the club all the success for the future. It’s a wonderful club, full of wonderful people.”

l Winterbourne fell to a 6-2 defeat at Purton last week.

Jimmy Potts gave them the lead in the ninth minute and scored a late consolation goal with the home side netting six times in between.