A WIN over fellow League I strugglers Gillingham for Town’s next opponents Oldham eased some of the pressure on manager Dave Penney.
But for Geraint Williams, it’s game over at Leyton Orient following their home defeat by Hartlepool.
On a day on which Swindon scored a stunning victory over Leeds at Elland Road to move into the second automatic promotion place, Orient’s 3-1 loss left them too close to the relegation zone for chairman Barry Hearn.
Having seen Town win 2-0 at Brisbane Road a fortnight before, Hearn acted swiftly to axe Williams after the Londoners were left 19th, just a point above the dreaded bottom four.
"The performance against Hartlepool was abysmal, and ultimately the responsibility lies with the manager," said Hearn.
"The decision has been taken to give us the best chance to stay in League I."
Orient have won just once in their last 11 games.
And Hearn added: "Geraint is as honest and professional a manager as you will find in football and it’s unfortunate things have not worked out."
Lewis Guy’s first goal for Oldham, who visit the Galpharm tomorrow, handed them a 1-0 win and took them to 17th, leaving Gillingham 21st.
The striker, on loan from Doncaster, netted in the 59th minute at Boundary Park.
He collected Dale Stephens’ pinpoint through ball before slipping a shot beyond Alan Julian.
Chances were at a premium with Oldham low on confidence, Gillingham without an away win all season and a bobbly playing surface.
Billy Paynter condemned Leeds to a fourth successive defeat and fourth place in the table.
Paynter pounced either side of half-time to take his goal tally against Leeds this season to four, and strike partner Charlie Austin headed Swindon’s third in the 55th minute to seal a 3-0 success.
Leeds have now gone an alarming 385 minutes without scoring.
Their best chance fell to Andrew Hughes in the 29th minute, but he shot straight at keeper David Lucas from six yards before firing the rebound into the body of defender Lescinel Jean-Francois.
While Town and Oldham fight it out tomorrow, all other League I sides are in action today.
Fifth-placed Charlton are level on points with Leeds after a 1-0 win at MK Dons.
On-loan Brighton striker Nicky Forster’s second-half penalty secured the points.
Fixtures@ (3.00 unless stated): Brentford v Exeter, Bristol Rov v MK Dons, Charlton v Carlisle, Colchester v Millwall (1.00), Gillingham v Southend, Hartlepool v Brighton, Norwich v Stockport, Southampton v Leyton Orient, Swindon v Tranmere, Walsall v Wycombe, Yeovil v