Toolstation Western League awards Barnstaple Town the points after Devizes no-show

NDJ

BARNSTAPLE Town have been awarded the three points from their final match of the Toolstation Western League season.

Devizes Town failed to show up for the First Division fixture at Mill Road on May 2, claiming to have broken down en route.

After holding a hearing, league officials decided at a hearing to give Barnstaple a walkover win.

A statement in the league’s bulletin said: “League officials have conducted a hearing to decide on the outcome of the recently postponed match between the clubs after Devizes Town suffered transport problems en route to Devon.

“The league has awarded the match and three points to Barnstaple Town. This is subject to any appeal at the FA.”

The outcome gives champions Barnstaple a total of 100 points – seven more than runners-up Welton Rovers.

Devizes informed Barnstaple at about 12.30pm that their bus had broken down near Bristol.

The home club were unable to contact anyone again until shortly before 3pm when manager Barry Yeo spoke to the Devizes chairman.

He was told the players had returned to Devizes and it was very unlikely they would be able to travel to North Devon for an evening kick-off.

In a further telephone conversation with Yeo about half an hour later, the chairman said his team would not be making the journey.

A crowd of more than 200 were at the ground to watch the game and see the home team presented with the league trophy. The match was called off shortly before 3.30pm.

The Barnstaple players changed into their kit and were presented with the trophy and medals by Mark Edmonds, the league’s general secretary.

Speaking on the day, he said: “We are very disappointed with Devizes Town’s no-show. It is totally unacceptable at this level of football. It’s not what the Western League is about.

“I feel very sorry for all these wonderful supporters who have turned up, the players and manager Barry (Yeo) who has worked all season for this award.”

Devizes chairman Shaun Moffat told the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: “We’d sorted out a bus for the players and the boys were all really gutted with what happened because they were looking forward to having a few beers on the way back.

“There were problems with the brakes and my interest was the safety of the players.

“We were in contact with the managers on the phone and we spoke to Mark Edmonds at around 1.30 or 2pm to say that we wouldn’t be able to make it.

“We contacted Barnstaple two or three times to let them know and we’re disappointed that we couldn’t get there.”

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