Former Sutton United assistant manager Alan Payne has spoken of his surprise at being sacked in the aftermath of the FA Cup defeat to Bromley.

Manager Paul Doswell and Payne had a meeting on Monday, following which Payne left the club with immediate effect.

His departure was announced via a short bulletin on the club website on Tuesday.

Fans immediately flocked to the forum to vent their disappointment with messages of disbelief and fond farewells.

Sutton have endured a torrid start to the season, struggling second from bottom in the Blue Square South table, with no wins in eight games, and crashing out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.

Payne, who joined United as a scout during the 2007-2008 season, said: "It is something the club decided and it is down to them to give the details.

"But I did not see it coming and I didn't leave under my own volition."

Payne went onto the forum to say: "To all the very special supporters of Sutton United. I would like to thank you all for all the great camaraderie and loyalty you have shown to the players and myself for the last 4 1/2 years.

"Supporters and volunteers are always the life blood of any non league football club, and without your encouragement, considerable football knowledge and history, Sutton would never be the great club it truly is....Well done everybody!

"I feel truly humbled by all the warmth expressed in the many messages of support that I have received these last few days from club officials, many ex-players and of course you the Sutton supporters.

"I really do hope to see you all at GGL some time in the future, it is your club and as we are all never know what is going to happen next in football."

Payne was responding to fans' comments on the forum including: "Top guy, always had time for the fans. It would be nice if we could give him a proper send off" from Stewart.

Will O wrote: "I, too, am really sad to see Alan go. He could have a nice conversation with anyone and I especially enjoyed his oft-repeated phrase at the end of matches: "Well done everybody!". That was said to players, volunteers and supporters alike - it made me think that he always understood just how much love and work goes into the football club from all sides; and how we all matter."

Sutton, without Payne, go to Tonbridge Angels on Saturday looking for their first win of the season.