There was late drama at Gaywood Park on Tuesday night as an ugly incident in stoppage time marred proceedings and left Kings Langley and AFC Rushden & Diamonds unclear as to whether the game had been abandoned.
The scores were locked at 1-1 after a controversial late equaliser from the visitors, but a melee deep into added time means it is not yet known whether or not the result will stand.
Dan Quigley got the equalising goal, but there was uncertainty whether the final whistle – which came after a long stoppage deep into added on time – was to abandon the game or to confirm the result.
Kings had taken the lead through a 76th minute header from a deep free-kick, but the equaliser arrived in the 90th minute as Scott Joseph’s cross-shot was dropped by the Langley keeper, allowing Quigley to sweep the ball home.
There were protests from Kings Langley, who felt that Diamonds should have returned the ball prior to the goal following an injury, and this resulted in a sending off for Rushden’s Elliott Lamb-Johnson as tempers flared.
With tensions already running high, there were further protests after a tackle in front of the Kings Langley bench deep into added on time, which split out onto the pitch.
The final whistle came after a long delay and it remains unclear at this point whether this was an abandonment or to confirm the game complete.
Both sides will now have to ‘wait and see what happens’ according to Diamonds manager Andy Peaks.
Speaking to the Northants Telegraph, Peaks said: “We scored when they felt we should have given the ball back but I didn’t even consider that.
“They had a couple of players go down and their goalkeeper booted the ball 70 yards up the pitch and out of play.
“The referee asked whether they needed treatment but allowed the game to carry on and we have gone up there and scored.
“Their bench weren’t happy about it and there were a few words exchanged but the game kicked off again and then one of their players has gone through the back of Brad Harris, which caused another incident.
“To be honest, I was just concentrating on pulling our boys away from it all but we had Elliott sent off for something and then the referee said he was going to abandon it even though there was only a minute or two left.
“We just have to wait and see what happens now and I assume it will be up to the Southern League to decide that.”