WESTBURY United have welcomed Toolstation League’s decision to order to replay of their match at Chard Town, which was controversially abandoned last month with just minutes left to play.

League officials have decreed that the September 16 contest, which was called off by referee Kevin Rudd 30 seconds before 90 minutes were up after persistent heavy rain, must take place again despite home side Chard leading 4-2 at the time.

The Somerset side have reacted angrily to the decision and have vowed to lodge an appeal to the FA over the ruling that means that leaders Westbury’s 13-game unbeaten record still stands.

Westbury secretary Greg Coulson said: “It hasn’t been rescheduled yet, we have just had the email to say that it will be replayed.

“We knew from the off that the league weren’t meeting until the beginning of October, so now it will just become another fixture to us.

“We have had quite a hectic schedule at the beginning of the season anyway so the longer it takes the more it suits us to be fair.’’ While Chard have made their frustration plain, Coulson praised the league over the process in reaching the decision.

“Chard seem quite frustrated by it,’’ he added. “Of course we wanted the game replayed, we were losing 4-2.

“It was never in our hands, it was always the decision of the league, we haven’t had any input to the decision at all. The league have been fantastic with us to be fair, they’ve just communicated well.

“When it first happened, we contacted them and asked what happens next and they said it would go to a league meeting and be decided.

“We sent them a letter appealing from our point of view, but they said it wouldn’t be taken into account so we left it alone from then.”

League secretary Andy Radford said: “The game will be replayed, probably in midweek. The FA laws state that a match must last 90 minutes and we’re bound by those rules.

“I understand this match was abandoned in the 89th minute and there were three or four stoppage time minutes to come.

“That effectively means 85 or 86 minutes of football had been played.

“Only the ref knows whether 90 minutes of football has been played or not as he is the one with the watch.

“I understand Chard are upset but those are the rules and we’re constrained by them.”

But Chard boss Paul Down told Somerset Live: “For a game to be called off 30 seconds before the 90 minutes are up opens up a whole can of worms because there will be more wet and heavy pitches to come for sure and this could be setting a precedent others may look to exploit.

“The rules are that irrespective of how many minutes of stoppage time are to follow - and there were a few in our case - that if the 90 minutes are reached, the result should stand. We were 30 seconds off that and 4-2 up.

“It makes you feel that because the unbeaten team at the time were Westbury and not Chard, they got the verdict their way.

“No one at the club can understand the decision and I’ve yet to hear of anyone else other than Westbury who thinks it was the right one either.

“It’s left a sour taste and we need to decide as a club whether to appeal to the FA.”