That Was The Weekend That Was: Red Cards & Rafa

It was, according to its website, the first time that this had happened in the one hundred eight years of the history of the Isthmian League. This afternoon at The Harry Abrahams Stadium in Finchley, North London, a match in its Premier Division between Wingate & Finchley and Thurrock was abandoned with five minutes to play, after the home side had five players sent off. The match was an important one, in its own way. With the home side fifth from bottom in the table and the visitors in second from bottom place – but, due to a run of postponements, with between three and eight games in hand on the teams clustered around them at the foot of the table – there were important points at stake for two clubs looking to avoid the drop into the further regionalised North and South divisions below them. What was, perhaps, more remarkable about this happening than anything else was the speed with which it played out. Wingate & Finchley lost their five players in the space of twenty-five minutes in the second half, with the referee only being compelled to call the match off with eight minutes left to play. All the more extraordinary – and this is something that the management might want to take some solace from on what was otherwise a car crash of a day –...

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