CHIPPENHAM Town has announced Gary Horgan will take over as manager until the end of the season after Mike Cook agreed to part ways with the Bluebirds on Saturday.

Cook mutually agreed to leave the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium following a 2-1 defeat to National League South leaders Maidstone United.

Jerome Binnom-Williams put the Stones ahead before Tom Mehew equalised in first-half stoppage time. However, Joan Luque scored inside the first minute of the second half to give the table toppers all three points in Cook’s final game as boss.

Having publicly spoken of his frustration surrounding the lack of budget available to him in recent months after cutbacks by the Bluebirds board, Cook’s decision was far from a surprise to many of the Chippenham supporters.

One said on Twitter: “Comes shortly after he said on the radio about the budget. Doesn't take a genius to figure it out.”

Another said: “(He’s) not happy with the budget cuts and having to plug the gaps with youth players. We will get away with it this season, not so sure about next year...”

Many others simply thanked Cook for all he has done during his two-and-a-half years at the helm.

Aaron Pullen said: “I have no idea what to say other than thanks Mike and all the best.”

The 53-year-old leaves Chippenham in 11th place but just two points off the play-off places with six games to go.

In a statement announcing the news at the weekend, Chippenham said: “Chippenham Town FC and manager, Mike Cook, have mutually agreed to part company with immediate effect.

“The board would like to thank Mike for all he has done for the club since his appointment as first-team manager, particularly in his first season with CTFC which, under his management, saw the club avoid the threat of relegation and retain its place in the National League South.

“On behalf of the CTFC board, chairman, Neil Blackmore said: “Mike has helped stabilise the nucleus of the squad since taking on management of the club’s first team and my board colleagues and I are grateful for the energy and effort he has expended on behalf of CTFC during his time as manager.

“We part company on amicable terms, and I wish him well in his future endeavours wherever they may lie.”

Following Saturday evening’s announcement, Chippenham announced Mark Collier’s long-time assistant Horgan would take over in a short-term capacity.

Chippenham announced they would make a long-term decision on the manager’s job in due course.