Mark Atkins has resigned as Matlock Town manager after nearly six years at the helm of the EVO-STIK League’s Gladiators.

The 46-year-old stepped down on Saturday evening within hours of the club’s 4-0 defeat at home to Halesowen Town in the Premier Division.

His assistant Nick Buxton also left the Autoworld Arena after their side’s fifth defeat of the campaign. The Gladiators have won just once this term and their latest reverse leaves them second from bottom in the EVO-STIK’s top flight and only above Belper Town on goal difference.

As a player, Atkins won the Premier League title with Blackburn Rovers and also turned out for Scunthorpe United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, York City, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City and Shrewsbury Town.

He was appointed as Matlock manager in November 2008 and saved the club from relegation in his first season in charge before winning the Derbyshire Senior Cup in 2009-10. Before joining the Gladiators, Atkins was assistant manager at Harrogate Town and Stalybridge Celtic.

An official statement from the club will be issued later today.

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