Harford leaves Hatters

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Blue Square Premier side Luton have parted company with manager Mick Harford by mutual consent.

Current first-team coach Alan Neilson will become caretaker manager with immediate effect until a new manager is recruited.

Despite winning last season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Harford led the Hatters to successive relegations since arriving in January 2008 and has struggled to ensure they fulfil pre-season ambitions of returning straight back to the Football League.

The 50-year-old departs on the back of their first home defeat of the season, going down 1-0 to Stevenage on Tuesday, leaving them 13 points adrift of leaders Oxford, who occupy the only automatic promotion place.

Managing director Gary Sweet told the club's official website: "The entire board are incredibly disappointed to part company with Mick, who we all had a great relationship with.

"It was an incredibly tough business decision that was made with a very heavy heart.

"Mick has been a wonderful servant and an impeccable ambassador for Luton Town over the last couple of years and we would like to thank him immensely, particularly for his help in stabilising the club and for his loyalty."

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