Football: Reames takes the reins at Lincoln

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The Independent Online
LINCOLN CITY have sacked their manager, Shane Westley, and his assistant, Wally Downes, and appointed the chairman, John Reames, to take over team affairs.

The sackings come after a miserable start to the season which has left the Imps propping up the Second Division. They are two points adrift at the foot of the table and went down to a 2-1 defeat at Walsall on Tuesday. A statement from the club said Reames has taken over team affairs, with the player Phil Stant and the physiotherapist Keith Oakes as his assistants. Westley took Lincoln to promotion from the Third Division in May, just two months after his appointment following the dismissal of John Beck, but they have suffered 10 defeats in 12 matches this term.

Westley, the club's eighth manager in as many years, had warned Lincoln's squad needed strengthening to compete with other Second Division teams.

The Imps lost to Walsall to an injury-time goal, and Westley was ordered from the bench by the referee, Brian Coddington, after complaining about the sending-off of Gavin Gordon late in the game. Lincoln now face a tricky FA Cup first-round tie at the Football Conference leaders, Cheltenham Town, on Saturday.

Westley admitted to feeling disappointed and upset. Having led the Imps to promotion last year, winning six and drawing two of his 11 games as caretaker manager to climb from 10th to third, he was officially appointed in June.

"I'm very disappointed," said the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southend centre-back. "I simply didn't have the tools to work with. In all fairness it was probably the worst thing we could have done, to get promoted, because we didn't have the resources to compete in this division. It makes life difficult when a club like Gillingham spend pounds 1.2million on players and we couldn't even afford a player for pounds 20,000."

n England's Under-21 manager Peter Taylor has agreed to take charge of the Nationwide League representative squad for a match against an Italian League side on 25 November. Taylor has confirmed his backroom staff of Glenn Roeder and Peter Bonetti for the match against Serie B players in Terni, and will announce the squad on Tuesday.