UPSET Church Stretton boss Scott Peever has accused the West Midlands League of ‘moving the goalposts’ after controversially being denied promotion.

Stretton will remain in West Midlands Division Two for the forthcoming 2019-20 season despite finishing runners-up last term.

The league says Stretton’s ground does meet the Division One criteria but Peever insists that the club has done everything asked of them.

He said: “It’s frustrating and it feels like they have led us down the garden path because they had a look at our facilities in April and said we needed to do this, this and this.

“It was a few things that were easily rectified – the main thing was to get hard standing (a hard-surfaced area) around the side of the pitch so the club committee spoke to Stretton Council.

“Then after we had sorted approval, the league said we had missed the deadline and that the fixtures had already been decided. I think they had already made their minds up.

“They wanted hard standing in place by September. So people behind the scenes worked really hard to get planning approval and then the league said it still wasn’t enough.

“We know they have to go by the letter of the law but this seems to be nit-picking. We just feel like they have moved the goalposts – if they had told us earlier, we could have planned accordingly.

“We worked hard all of last season to go up and to miss out due to this seems unfair. We played at grounds of teams in higher divisions and there’s not been a big difference between theirs and ours.

“But it’s going to be a bit of a motivator next season – we want to go one better than last year, prove them wrong, go up and then hopefully we will be in a better position in general.”

Stretton began their pre-season with a 3-1 defeat at West Midlands Premier neighbours Shawbury United on Saturday – Dean Richards netted for Stretton while Rif Ata (2) and Ben Howells scored for Shawbury.

Ludlow FC drew 1-1 at Welsh side Kerry with Reece Williams getting their goal.