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League to probe Meath walkout

PUBLISHED: 13:29 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 05 October 2010

There were extraordinary scenes at Hackney Marshes on Sunday as Meath United's game with Clapton Rangers was abandoned when two Meath players walked off the pitch after a controversial red card

By CIARAN McGRATH

There were extraordinary scenes at Hackney Marshes on Sunday as Meath United's game with Clapton Rangers was abandoned when two Meath players walked off the pitch after

a controversial red card.

Now Meath could find themselves in hot water, with East London Sunday Football League officials due to discuss the incident at a committee meeting on Thursday night - after the London Football Association were called in to investigate the behaviour of the players.

Tempers flared following a series of bookings in the first half of the game, which Clapton were leading by 1-0, explained Meath secretary Terry Simmons.

Simmons revealed that his players had become increasingly frustrated by several of the referee's decisions.

The final straw was the sending-off, at which point two of the Meath players removed their shirts and walked off the pitch, prompting the referee to abandon the game.

"I was left with eight players but I also had two subs so we could have carried on," said Simmons. "I back my players completely."

But Clapton Rangers manager Osmand Stanford responded by launching a broadside against Meath. He said: "It's common in football for the referee to make decisions that you don't agree with, but to walk off the pitch is disgraceful in my opinion".

League chairman Brian Hannon said: "With regard to the result of the match, that will be discussed by the league's committee, while the behaviour of the players will be discussed by the London Football Association."

In the Premier Division, Athletico Hackney were beaten by last season's runners-up Rolls Park 4-1, while Crownfield refused to give up in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Hackney Downs A.

In Division One, Arbour A took three points in the Tower Hamlets derby by defeating Young Prince 6-0 at Victoria Park. Haggerston Park Lions slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Reama, while Hackney Downs B recorded a 6-0 win over Tube Lines.

Byron Athletic played the whole of their Division Two game with 10 men yet still managed to salvage a well-earned point against Arbour Athletic B following a 2-2 draw. East Moore B showed no mercy to league newcomers Gervic Palace, thumping them 10-0 - with Matthew Wheeler netting six times.

Concordia got off to a flying start by beating East End United 7-2. Springfield lost 3-0 to Stokie ODA and Millwall Albion fell to an agonising 3-2 defeat against EFY.

In Division Three, William Fitt Youth Tigers stormed to the top of the division with a 6-1 win over Besiktas. New North Rangers narrowly beat rivals Juva in a seven-goal thriller.

Stratford Juniors recorded the best scoreline of the day by thrashing Concordia Under-18a 16-2, and William Fitt Youth Lions comfortably beat Chettle Court 2-0.

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