In a thrilling end to the season Euro Garages won their final league match but it still may not be enough for them to be crowned champions next week due to a ‘void’ game earlier in the year which cost them three valuable points.
Going into their final game they needed a win and trailed Longshaw 2-1 until the 80th minute.
They had not looked like scoring until Yaqub and the impressive Malik stole the points for Euro in a stunning final ten minutes.
It was a stirring finish for Euro Garages but one which may not see them lift the Blackburn Combination Premier League trophy.
It puts them on 44 points, three ahead of Longshaw in the Premier division who still have one game left. Winning that would now hand Longshaw the title on goal difference.
A goal difference which was boosted in the previous two matches when Longshaw managed to score 22 goals. An 8-0 and 14-0 win for the side put them ahead of Euro Garages by five goals on goal difference.
The season will be marred though by an abandoned game between Euro Garages and Clayton Park.
Euro were winning 1-0 with minutes to go when the referee called things to halt after what the league said was ‘due to violence breaking out during the game and the match referee being unable to complete the game due to the behaviour of both sets of players and spectators’.
Euro Garages will argue that it was the fans more than anyone else who led to the abandonment. And other matches where a handful of spectators have led to any issues have not led to games being called 'void'.
The league then waited until a Lancashire Football Association fine before calling the game void at a league meeting. A decision that cost Euro Garages three points and in essence this title.
In normal circumstances the game may well have been replayed. We asked the league why this did not take place. They said, “Once the matter has been dealt with by the County FA Blackburn Combination need to resolve the matter of the abandoned game and it how impacts the league table.
“We are governed by the FA Standard Code of Rules that applies to all Leagues in the country and are mandatory. This situation is dealt with by Rule 10 (F)(v) as follows ‘In cases where a match is abandoned owing to the conduct of both teams or their club members the Management Committee shall rule all points for the match as void. There is no option to replay the game in these circumstances.
"The fate of Euro Garages was sealed the moment they chose not to challenge the charge set by the County FA and the consequential guilty plea.
Action from the Longshaw and Euro Garages game on Tuesday April 18 2017
The league admitted this has happened before in previous seasons but may well be the first time a team has lost the Premier League championship due to such a decision.
It might not seem to be the correct decision in the club’s opinion but one they must live with. Other amateur leagues may have come to another decision.
Longshaw celebrate going 2-1 up.
Take nothing away from Longshaw FC who played some decent football this season and they stuck to the task despite everything going on around them. They should be champions barring a minor miracle on Tuesday.