‘I think it was the right decision’ – Felixstowe boss Boardley on the fate of the 2019-20 season

PUBLISHED: 10:33 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:33 31 March 2020

The Seasiders celebrate a late goal against fellow strugglers Brentwood as Stuart Ainsley jumps into the arms of goalscorer Miles Powel. Picture: THOMAS BRADFORD

The Seasiders celebrate a late goal against fellow strugglers Brentwood as Stuart Ainsley jumps into the arms of goalscorer Miles Powel. Picture: THOMAS BRADFORD

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Felixstowe & Walton United faced the prospect of being relegated, if the Football Association had opted to go down the average points-per-game route to decide the outcome of the 2019-20 season.

The Felixstowe & Walton defence holds firm at Canvey Island, from earlier in the season. The non-league season is set to be 'null and void'. Picture: THOMAS BRADFORDThe Felixstowe & Walton defence holds firm at Canvey Island, from earlier in the season. The non-league season is set to be 'null and void'. Picture: THOMAS BRADFORD

As it happened, the FA chose to expunge all results for the campaign, so making it null and void, with no relegation or promotion.

Seasiders boss Stuart Boardley believed that his side would have avoided relegation from the Isthmian League North, if the season had not been called off due to coronavirus pandemic.

The Dellwood Avenue club were third-from-bottom, with 25 points from 29 games, when the season was suspended, and ultimately cancelled, above basement dwellers Basildon United (23 from 25), and improving Romford (24 from 25), and just behind Brentwood Town (26 from 28).

Boardley points to the fact that the Seasiders’ run-in was far kinder than those of their lowly rivals, in terms of having already played more of the top six teams twice, with the exception of Aveley and Tilbury.

“I think it was the right decision,” said Boardley, with reference to the FA’s decision to expunge all results for the season.

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“It was really important that they made the decision now, so clubs can plan ahead.

“There is work on the pitch to consider, and there would have been players’ contract issues to sort out if the season had ended up being extended.

“The FA were never going to please everyone, and on balance this is probably the easier decision to make.

“To work things out by points-per-game would have been difficult, and would have left the FA open to a lot more criticism, and from a lot more teams than they are receiving criticism from now.

“I feel it’s the right decision, though it is harsh on a lot of clubs, especially Stowmarket and Maldon & Tiptree in our region, because they were runaway leaders in their respective divisions.

“If you worked it out on points-per-games, we would have finished bottom, I believe, but I would argue that our recent results were on the up, and other teams had tougher run-ins than us, especially Brentwood.

“It was always going to be hard, but at the least the FA have acted quickly,” added Boardley.

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