Shoreham Football Club finally got their hands on the Southern Combination League Premier Division title this weekend.
Former manager Bryan O’Toole guided them to a second-placed finish in the SCFL Premier Division last term, only for league leaders Haywards Heath Town to be handed a nine-point deduction for fielding Melford Simpson while under ‘sine die’ suspension in three matches.
Heath appealed the decision, however the Football Association decided to uphold the nine-point penalty dished out - meaning Mussels finished top of the table, earning promotion to the newly-named Bostik League for the first-time in their history.
Despite the season finishing back in April, an ongoing wait to see who would finish, meant Mussels were only officially handed the title on Saturday.
Shoreham chairman Stuart Slaney is just relieved the whole situation has been resolved and said: “The trophy was presented to us on Saturday, which was nice, but it felt like an anti-climax given the season officially ended nearly two months ago.
"The unique situation meant that both ourselves and Haywards Heath were not able to prepare for the upcoming season.
“We (Shoreham) have been the innocent party in all of this, it’s a shame that the league title had to be handed out in this way but it was the FA and SCFL’s decision.
“It’s just a huge relief that we can now start talking to players and preparing for our pre-season friendlies knowing that we will be playing at Bostik League level.
“All-in-all the club will now be focusing on player acquisitions and developing youth level teams, who will also step up to Istmian League level.”
Slaney also wished Haywards Heath well for the upcoming season.
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