Eccleshill United were left in limbo as their home clash in Division One with AFC Emley was abandoned in the 88th minute in farcical circumstances.

Emley keeper Mike Clark was trying to run the clock down when he fumbled the ball over his own line under pressure from the Eagles’ Victor Balas.

A goal was awarded to make the score 1-1 despite Clark’s claims that Balas had handled the ball.

He refused to give the ball back to the referee to restart the game, was shown a yellow card and then ran off into the dressing rooms, with the ball, and refused to come back out.

Clark eventually returned to the pitch but still refused to hand over the ball to the officials or team-mates. The referee gave him another yellow card and the requisite red but Clark would not leave the field of play, at which point the referee abandoned the match.

Eagles’ football chairman Adrian Benson said: “I have been in football many years but I have never seen anything like that. The referee had no option but to abandon the game.

“If there had been anything untoward in the game it might have been easier to explain. But the game had been played in a very good spirit.

“I was stunned. In fact, I’m still in shock to be honest. It puts Carlos Tevez’s little strop into the shade.”

Emley had broken the deadlock ten minutes earlier through David Heagney had scored.

Benson added: “We don’t know what will happen until it is discussed by the league at their next meeting. The result could stand, they could order a replay or the game could be awarded to us.

“Ian Banks and our players were not happy at all. Emley were down to ten men with their keeper sent off, in total disarray and vulnerable.

"There were still two minutes plus stoppage time to go so who is to say that we wouldn’t have gone on to get the winner and the three points?"”