LEE Connor, Paul Stringer and Ross Molloy will be in the dugout when Basildon United welcome Aveley to the Cousins Car Wash Stadium for an Essex Senior Cup third round tie tonight.

John Sussex resigned as the Bees’ boss on Sunday, having taken just five points from the opening 10 fixtures of the Isthmian North season.

With Basildon yet to appoint Sussex’s successor, the club will be led by vice-chairman Connor, under-18s manager Stringer and Molloy - the under-18s’ coach - against Aveley.

However, Connor admits he - along with chairman David Maxwell - did not want Sussex to leave his post.

Connor said: “John sent me a text asking to call him.

“When I did, he offered his resignation but David and I didn’t want him to leave, so we declined his resignation and asked him to think about it.

“He did think about it and told us that he had made his decision.

“David and I did not want John to leave because we felt he was a good fit for the club and he had steadied the ship.

“He was loyal and did well in the cup competitions as well.

“We backed John 100 per cent and that would have remained the case had he changed his mind, but he didn’t. We wish John all the best for the future.”

Sussex took charge of the Bees in March, succeeding Neil Blackburn.

Having led the Bees to safety, the former Tilbury reserves chief was backed during the summer and made numerous signings ahead of a second consecutive campaign in the Isthmian North.

However, Sussex has left with Basildon 19th in the standings.