AVELEY have been hit with the surprise resignation of boss Danny Dafter just 48 hours before their FA Cup preliminary round tie against Barking.

Dafter and assistant manager Gary Haywood have left Parkside with immediate effect.

The departure comes after just two matches of the current campaign, which ended in draws against Dereham Town and Hullbridge Sports, but Dafter admits he should never have committed to taking the managerial role on a permanent basis.

Dafter said: “Myself and Gary have decided to call it a day at Aveley.

“We spoke yesterday and decided that we didn’t have the enthusiasm and passion to carry on doing it.

“We never intended to get back into football when we agreed to take it on last season.

“In hindsight, we shouldn’t have then agreed to take the job on for the season.”

Dafter took charge of the Millers with five fixtures of last season remaining, following James Webster’s departure.

And Aveley boasted a 100 per cent winning record under Dafter until they suffered a play-off semi-final loss to Heybridge Swifts at Parkside.

However, the Millers have made a slow start to the current Isthmian North campaign.

Having come back from two goals down to record a 2-2 draw at Dereham on the opening day of the season, Aveley were held to a goalless draw by newly-promoted Hullbridge.

And Craig Johnson, the club’s chief executive, could not hide his disappointment at Dafter’s decision to resign.

Johnson said: “The timing of this couldn’t be worse for the football club with an FA Cup tie in less than 48 hours’ time.”

Aveley are now on the lookout for Dafter’s successor.