Sutton United boss Paul Doswell has admitted it was with a heavy heart that he released Stuart Fleetwood last week.

The striker has failed to hold down a place in the United first team, and has found his chances limited as United’s form has exploded.

Fleetwood only scored one competitive goal – in the FA Trophy defeat at Bognor Regis – in 36 appearances.

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Doswell said: “Stuart and I had a chat and we decided it was best for him to say thank you and call it a day.

“Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out for him, and he was travelling a long way from Gloucester to not be involved in the team.”

He added: “With the likes of Tom Bolarinwa, Dan Wishart, Dan Fitchett and Ross Stearn ahead of him and in such good form, it was always going to be tough.

“But he is a top lad and a true professional. He never gave me any problems, he never sat there and moaned when he was not playing – it made it hard to let him go.”