One particular manager has been left ‘fuming’ as they discover that Boston United are forced to replay their Darlington fixture.
Craig Elliott is furious at the decision to make his side replay their abandoned match at the Quakers, which ended with an injury.
The Pilgrims led 2-0 in the 87th minute at Blackwell Meadows in November when 37-year-old Darlo defender Nicky Hunt laid on the pitch after being knocked unconscious and needed lengthy treatment for a head injury.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance at around 23:00 GMT after being treated on the pitch for more than an hour.
“I’m fuming. I’m not going to hide behind it to be honest,” said the Pilgrims boss.
“I just don’t see the common sense in it. I totally disagree with the decision and I’m not going to play it down.
“I just think that with what’s happening in the world I can’t believe they’re making us go back up there. The two worst (Covid) regions in the country, the north east and Lincolnshire and not only that, the common sense.
“There’s three minutes left and it’s absolute heartbreaking, but I’m sure Darlington and their manager are absolutely over the moon with it.”
“We knew about the decision a few weeks ago, the players did,” Elliott added as the manager was left ‘fuming’ as Boston United are forced to replay the Darlington fixture.
“To be honest they took it a lot harder than I thought they would and that’s coincided with us feeling sorry for ourselves a little bit.
“But I understand it. I was coming home and thinking about it all the time. Those three points would have put us in a good position in the league. We deserved them and it was another clean sheet.
“Seeing it in the media, you feel it again. We had the majority of the support from other people, other clubs, so that makes it even worse.
“If it was the other way round I would have expected Darlington to get the decision, but yet again the league make a bizarre decision. It’s gutting.”
A difficult night for Darlington. Thoughts are with Nicky Hunt.
— North East Sport News (@nesportnews) November 10, 2020
An update from Darlington read: Following an incident on the field near the end of the match, Nicky was left unconscious and needed lengthy treatment for a head injury from the physios of both clubs and medical staff.
He was taken to hospital at 11pm by ambulance.
We would like to thank the excellent care and prompt action which was taken by the physios of both clubs, and the Darlington FC safety staff and stewards.
Our thoughts are with Nicky and his family.
We will update everybody when we can.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
The Quakers’ opposition, Boston United, said: Darlington defender Nicky Hunt has been stretchered from the pitch by ambulance crew at 11.00pm. Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.
Boston also said in a statement via their club website: Boston United’s National League North trip to Darlington was abandoned in the closing stages on Tuesday evening.
A serious-looking injury to home defender Nicky Hunt prompted referee Adam Williamson to abandon the encounter at Blackwell Meadows which United led 2-0.
Jordan Burrow’s eighth minute header and Fraser Preston’s deflected 87th minute strike had the Pilgrims on course for a deserved away win until Hunt’s injury curtailed matters.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
A further statement, issued by Darlington, which read: We are pleased to inform everyone that following a scan on his head and neck at North Tees Hospital early this morning, Nicky has been given the all-clear. He was released from hospital at around 5am, and he returned home to rest with his family.
Once again, we would like to thank the physios from both Darlington and @bostonunited who gave Nicky so much care and attention on the field, their professionalism prevented the situation from getting even worse, and also to the medical staff for their attention. We would also like to thank everyone from across the football spectrum for sending their best wishes to Nicky.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
Hunt made a total of 127 appearances for Bolton Wanderers in the top flight and also had spells with Birmingham, Derby and Bristol City.
Fans reacted with the manager ‘fuming’ as Boston United are forced to replay the Darlington fixture…
@tonyboynton: Darlo fan – ridiculous decision. We were well beaten on the night. Do you expect any common sense from these muppets in charge of the league. Tipped you guys for the title before a ball was kicked. Still think that. Sod’s law we’ll end up with 3 points though
@MCFCDarlo: Crackers decision but not unexpected. Even at 0-1 I couldnt see Darlo scoring. As for Darlo being liable for any costs or people suggesting stream refunds thats just as daft. I sponsored the match ball but hey thats just how shit flows sometimes.
@darlo_docho: Correct decision from the league
@KCForestDarlo: Awful decision – from a Darlo fan.
@sdeptford7: No logic applied at all
@Jonopo_Smith: Government: “avoid all non-essential travel” – National league “hold our beer……” @TheVanaramaNL
@BrianRyder5599: I for 1 wanted the points to be given to you guys we were well beaten by the better team on the night until i saw the comments by your arrogant keeper who lacks humility and compasion for a fellow player and a club that been where you have. Justice in my books whatever the score
@designerb8sy: Not like we already have a backlog of games to fit in. The running of this league is a shambles @TheVanaramaNL
@ryan_kelly23: Can the club actually appeal this and lodge a formal complaint to the league or FA about unessacary travelling, financial costs and during a pandemic.
@DRACLAD: Terrible decision by The National League but they are an absolute shambles, result should have stood and I’m a Darlington fan
@scaramouche1964: Ridiculous decision in normal times but add the covid problems and it’s totally irresponsible as well.
@soulfulmerlin: Remember going to Crewe . Game called off due to fog . We had all paid . No refund .
So why should anyone be refunded for TV stream . Didn’t get to watch Boston game . Will be paying to hopefully see Darlo retribution .
School playing fields need maintenance .
@bobramsden1: I find that a very strange decision.
@Traffordio: What a joke the National League board are. Shocking!!
@duanecottam: Strange decision I honestly think Boston should of been awarded the points
@jimcgreen: Crazy decision in a normal season but it’s ludicrous this year in particular
@CarlHorner: I suppose you’d never know how it would have ended but I’d have put my mortgage on Boston winning the game 2-0 up with probably 6-7 minutes of play left. They were the best side I’ve watched this season. If it was reversed and this happened to us I would be fuming.
@MrJohnTate: They deserve the three points, they had us beat that night. The incident wasnt of their doing. Tough on Boston
@chris_walton21: Very strange decision, it doesn’t sit well with me at all
@ianindarlo: This is not fair, I get its the rules but commonsense should prevail. We were 2nd best on the night and heading for defeat. I guess those challenging for promotion would have objected but its unfair on Boston
@QuakerPete: Didn’t see that decision coming, we wouldn’t have scored all night
@Darlo_Robbo: The same rules that cost us a play off place now work in our favour. Swings and roundabouts isn’t it.
Shocking from the @TheVanaramaNL
— Anthony Bo (@Anthony_Bo) December 15, 2020
— Andy Bannard (@originalbanny) December 15, 2020
Absolute disgrace. Not just because of the current climate. Would never happen higher up the pyramid so why does it in NLN? Ridiculous
— York Hospital Ball (@yorkhospball) December 15, 2020
— Harriet (Claudio4eva)😷🫖 (@BarhamHarriet) December 15, 2020
Is this a joke, with 3 mins to go, is @TheVanaramaNL on a wind up, and I am not even a Boston fan
— MBWLdurham🦌🇪🇺🏴 (@MbwLdurham) December 15, 2020
Always said the people in charge of the National League North were not fit for purpose and now they have proved me right. They have ruled that the Boston United abandoned game (87mins and Utd 2nil up) against Darlington, must be replayed!! Would like to see the justification.
— Mel Smith (@fire_Mel) December 15, 2020
The National League Board lack credibility, respect and common sense. Football is about fairness, team spirit, equality, mutual respect and fair competition.
Darlington 0 , Boston 2, 87 mins played and quite right the ref stopped the game for a serious head injury. the game over
— Steve Hill (@HillSteveh92) December 16, 2020
@TheVanaramaNL how on earth is it right that you make Boston replay a game when they are two nil up with 2 mins to go against ten men? Doesn’t seem fair and sets dangerous precedent for any teams wanting to bend rules (which I’m not saying Darlington did)
— James Starbuck (@JamesStarbuck1) December 15, 2020
Crazy….. During times like this they’ve got to fit another game in for the sake of 3 minutes 😳🤷🏻♂️
— SSFC Wallsend Branch (@NEMariner7) December 15, 2020
Unbelievable ain’t it. Especially during these times. Got to squeeze another game in now.
— Callum (@cjcharlton14) December 15, 2020