Club angry as wedding forces play-off game to move

A semi-professional football club has been told it has to play a crucial play-off match away from its home ground, because of a wedding taking place there the same day.

Shirebrook Town FC said it could not "believe" the fixture would be moved to a neutral venue, 28 miles (45km) away from the Derbyshire town.

In a post on social media, Shirebrook said it was "annoyed" the league had not allowed the game to be played on a different date at Langwith Road.

The Northern Counties Eastern Football League (NCEL) said it had followed Football Association (FA) rules.

The team, which plays in the NCEL, is due to play Wakefield AFC on 4 May in a play-off semi final.

Instead the match will take place next Saturday at Parkgate FC, in South Yorkshire.

Writing on X, Shirebrook Town said: "Cannot actually believe we are writing this, the league have just informed us that our home tie against Wakefield in the play-offs now must be played at a neutral ground as the sports staff and social club have a wedding booked.

"We would like to apologise to all our fans and we are working to find a solution to this problem."

The two teams are competing for promotion to the NCEL's Premier Division, after finishing third and fourth respectively in Division One this season.

Shirebrook would have had home advantage for the tie, as they finished one place higher than their West Yorkshire opponents.

'Pulling the plug'

In a later post, Shirebrook clarified it was not taking the issue with the wedding being scheduled, adding that there were other dates the game could have been played at the ground.

"We wish the happy couple nothing but the best for their wedding," it added.

In response, the NCEL cited FA rules stating that if a home team is unable to host a fixture it should be moved to their opponents' ground.

But with Wakefield AFC unable to host the match themselves, the NCEL said a new venue had to be chosen.

The league also said that Division One clubs were informed of the play-off dates on 13 April.

A spokesperson for the NCEL added: "At this time nobody from Shirebrook Town flagged up that there could be a potential clash with a wedding booked at the venue for the same day as the semi-final.

"The league received a phone call at the latter end of this week from the social club committee to tell us that due to the wedding they would be 'pulling the plug' on the football match and it couldn't go ahead at Langwith Road."

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