Newent Town have been excluded from the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League after losing out on a vote by the narrowest of margins.
Newent faced a motion brought about by the League’s management committee to remove them from the competition.
It was claimed by the League’s committee that Newent were fielding a weaker side in the competition than the one playing in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Division Two (West).
The motion needed a two-thirds vote among the League’s clubs to pass.
Over half the teams present at last Friday’s special meeting voted to remove Newent from the league (17 of the 30), with 13 in support.
However, with the League management committee’s votes added to the pile, it meant Newent were doomed by a single vote.
“They said we weren’t fielding our strongest team in the Northern Senior,” club secretary Phillip Clarke explained.
“That was sort of true because when you split your best players between two teams, it’s going to get diluted.
“They didn’t have a majority vote but then the management committee voted and we lost out by one vote.
“Mitcheldean and Southside had already resigned from the Northern Senior League, so you would have thought they wanted to keep teams going. But the decision was made immediately with no appeal allowed.
“I’d like to thank all the clubs who voted to support us: Whitecroft, Lydbrook, Charlton Rovers, Berkeley, Taverners, Longlevens and Tuffley to name a few. We’ve had some really nice messages, offers of Friendly matches this season and wishes of good luck for the future.”
Newent will now focus on their efforts in the Uhlsport Hellenic League, with Clarke admitting the club will look to improve the ground in case they become eligible for promotion to Division One (West).
Beyond that, Clarke added that Newent will hope to join one of the West Midlands, Herefordshire or Worcestershire leagues.
“We will have a meeting with the Hellenic League in a few weeks time,” he said.
“There are a few teams who have left the Northern Senior for the Hellenic over the years. One club who supported us on Friday said if this is how they treat teams, it’s no wonder.
“We’ll look to try and play friendlies between now and the end of the season and hopefully we’ll go into a new league.”
The Northern Senior League were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.