Sent Her Forward exclusive
Yet another league title is set to be decided in the committee room after Carshalton Athletic’s London & South East league title celebrations were put on hold before they had even begun.
The Surrey club, needing to win their final game to pip Old Actonians to the Premier Division championship, duly romped to a 7-0 win over London Corinthians, who had also been in the title race until the final stages.
But their place as champions has not been confirmed after league officials revealed they were investigating the eligibility of a player involved in a previous game.
Greg Petts, the league’s secretary, declined to reveal details, other than to confirm to Sent Her Forward that the season’s final outcome was not yet settled.
He said: “The result of the Carshalton Athletic v Maidstone United match has been questioned, due to FA disciplinary procedures. Therefore, at the moment the league is taking advice before ratifying the result or taking any other action.”
Winning in style
Carshalton, who thought they had clinched a second successive championship after winning Division One last season, are also reluctant to comment while the investigation is proceeding.
But despite the uncertainty, their players – who also reached the final of the Surrey County Cup, which they won last season – did their talking on the pitch on Sunday, winning in style against Corinthians.
Ella Bale scored a hat-trick, top scorer Laura Curtis two and Kayley Smith and Janaya Spiteri one each as Carshalton matched long-term leaders Old Actonians’ goal difference.
However, the crucial difference is on points – and if Carshalton’s earlier 2-0 victory over Maidstone United on May 3 is nullified, they will remain behind their rivals, who will add the league crown to the League Cup they won earlier this month.
As it stands
*Pending a decision on the outcome of Carshalton Athletic v Maidstone United, which is subject to a league inquiry
The devastating finish to a fascinating league title race is the latest of many to fall foul of competition rules.
Swindon Town missed out on the chance of winning promotion to the FAW Premier League after being docked three points for fielding an ineligible player. They were also removed from the FAW Cup and Premier League Plate for the same reason.
Queens Park Rangers’ three-point deduction after an administrative oversight caused them to postpone a league match cost them two places in this season’s Premier League – although they still comfortably avoided relegation.
And West Ham United were turfed out of the Essex County Cup after a fixture clash forced them to cancel their tie against Billericay Town.