Controversy marred the Leamington & District Sunday League Division Five Cup final at the weekend, with a crucial goal chalked off following threats made to an assistant referee.
Long Compton Rovers, so often the whipping boys of the basement division, looked set for their first silverware when they led league leaders Tiltyard courtesy of a Reece Bayliss goal.
However, with Long Compton just about to double their advantage, an assistant linesman ran on to the pitch following threats of violence from a Rovers supporter.
And despite the player putting the ball into the net, the referee disallowed the goal and instead awarded a goal kick to Tiltyard who then went on to complete a 2-1 win.
Long Compton secretary Alan Prancks said it soured what should have been a memorable day for his club.
“It knocked the stuffing out of the lads.
“We held the lead for the best part of an hour, but five minutes after the goal we conceded twice in quick succession.
“The kid who scored was 19 and a bit upset, while we’ve got a 16-year-old and it was a big day for him.
“He was quite inconsolable at the end.”
Tiltyard manager Richard Hales admitted the incident had changed the complexion of the game.
“I’ve no idea why he was having a go at the linesman as nothing was happening but it probably cost them the cup,” said Hales.
“They were dominating the game at the time.”
League secretary Steve Falp confirmed the matter would be dealt with by the Birmingham County FA but said implementing sanctions would be difficult.
“It’s is different to when it’s a player,” he said.
“If he’d kept his mouth shut the linesman wouldn’t have done anything.
“He’s virtually cost his side the game.”
Tiltyard went on to secure the cup with goals from Tom Griffiths and Jamie Whitehouse.