Workington Reds are back to square one, six days after appointing Gavin Skelton as manager.

The 37-year-old, who had returned to Borough Park for a second spell in charge of the team, resigned after a creditable 1-1 draw at Stafford.

The board of directors was due to meet last night to discuss the situation as the club sits next-to-bottom of the Evo-Stik Premier, Division, eight points adrift of safety.

Chairman John Mackay said: "I am devastated.

"Everyone was just shell-shocked when I told them what had happened.

"I spent most of Christmas on the phone talking to Carlisle United, Gavin and my own directors in an effort to thrash out a deal.

"I was determined for it to go through.

"Gavin had been identified as the man we wanted and everyone at the club was delighted when the appointment was confirmed.

"I feel now as though I have been kicked in the teeth.

"He had said before the game at Stafford that he wanted to see me afterwards, but I didn’t think too much about that. We had already discussed potential player targets.

"Then, afterwards, he said that I wouldn’t like what he was doing and gave me his resignation letter.

"It said that he had realised it wasn’t the job for him and that he was resigning.

"Maybe, I should have thought something was amiss when he told me on Friday that he was going to travel down by car. I did think it was unusual for a new manager not to travel with the players to his first away game."

Afterwards, as he left the dressing room, Skelton had spoken briefly to number two Lee Andrews to say he wouldn’t be back but had not said anything to the players.

To add to Workington’s woes, leading scorer Scott Allison was stretchered-off with a dislocated shoulder and taken to hospital in Stafford.

He had the shoulder put back into joint at the second attempt but has been told he could be out of action for six to eight weeks.

Reds had travelled without Sam Joel and Jamie Mellen, who were both ill, while Jordan Holt is looking to trial with clubs after being released by Carlisle United.

Kyle May and Matty Douglas were completing their three-match bans and will be available for next week’s trip to Gainsborough Trinity, but Dan Wordsworth and Gari Rowntree will be missing through suspensions.