DIRECTOR Ken Stewart is warning Wimborne Town will have to operate with a reduced playing budget next season unless outgoing chairman Paul Miller's investment is replaced.

Miller, who succeeded Stewart in the chair at the start of the season, announced earlier this month that he would quit Cuthbury at the end of the current campaign due to business and family commitments.

Long-serving Stewart, who had been at the helm for the previous seven years, revealed he would reluctantly step back into the breach on a temporary basis should the quest for a viable alternative prove fruitless.

In a candid assessment of Magpies' inconsistent campaign, Stewart also conceded that Wimborne had underachieved after Miller had targeted a play-off place during pre-season.

And with the club now left with three directors, Stewart this week advised manager Steve Cuss, contracted until the end of next season, that he would have fewer resources at his disposal unless fresh blood was found for the boardroom.

Stewart told the Daily Echo: “We were disappointed to lose Paul. Not only did he do a fair amount of work for the club but it has also left a bit of a hole in the budget.

“We are actively looking for other directors and may advertise the position of chairman if we cannot find someone in house.

“Having done seven years in the post, I feel like I have done my time. It is a job for someone else.”

On the cutbacks, Stewart added: “Steve (Cuss) now knows his budget for next season and as any manager will tell you, it is never enough but he has agreed to work with it.

“It is slightly reduced but there might be some room for manoeuvre if we can attract someone else onto the board or if we enjoy a cup run next season.

“For the amount of money spent, we would have expected to go a little bit further this season but would still like to hold onto our key players.”

Meanwhile, Magpies today finished their home fixtures on a high note with a 2-0 win over Tiverton Town, ending their visitors' interest in the title race.

Mark Gamble and James Stokoe both went close during a first half of few chances before Matt Kemble broke the deadlock 12 minutes after the restart, nodding home George Webb's outswinging centre at the far post.

Gamble saw a poor penalty saved by Tivvy's Michael Searle after Ian Oliver had been caught by the flailing arm of Aaron Wilson, but made no mistake with his second spot kick having been upended by Matt Vallis midway through the second half.

Magpies: Harvell, Arnold, Maybury, Oliver, Brimson, Blake, Griffin, Kemble (Grose, 90), Stokoe, Gamble, Webb. Unused subs: Battison, Roast