Glossop manager Chris Willcock says he was ‘puzzled’ after skipper Dave Young missed the final 15 minutes of his side’s FA Vase Final.
The Hillmen lost 2-1 in extra-time but had to play the second period without centre-half Young, who sustained a head injury.
Despite saying he was keen to stay on the field, Young was forced to sit in the stands on medical grounds although boss Willcock says the issue would not have arisen had Young been made to exit straight away.
“It was a puzzling one,” said the North End boss.
“I understand the ruling but the medics allowed him to come back on the field.
“If they allow him to come back, surely he’s been examined and he’s okay to do so.
“Then, five minutes later they say he has to go off and stay off.
“Everyone was probably as puzzled as I am.
“If they didn’t allow him to come back on in the first place then there wouldn’t have been an issue.
“That’s where the confusion and frustration comes from.
“Any footballer at a showpiece occasion, doesn’t want to leave the field of play.
“It was a strange decision and unfortunately it didn’t help our cause.”
Lee Donafee, GNE assistant manager, believes the incident came about due to confusion on the touchlines.
He said: “One of the paramedics assessed him and said he was fine to go back on.
“But the relay was the FA telling the fourth official he wasn’t allowed to come back on - even though the paramedics had said he was okay.
“Rules are rules, and it’s for players’ safety.
“I think there was just a misunderstanding.”