TENBURY sides United and Town could have been duelling it out in two tasty derbies to decide the fate of the Herefordshire Division One title this month – but both have been left thinking ‘what if?’

The recent ratification of the Football Association’s decision to expunge the non-league season has left both sides with unfinished business – not least the much-anticipated derby double-header.

Each feels they could well have gone on to clinch promotion back to the Premier Division but must now wait to see how long it is until the grassroots game is given the green light to kick off again.

Town boss Keiran Fish admitted it was a frustrating situation but that seeing his fiancé, an A&E nurse at Hereford County Hospital, going to work each day gave him a fresh perspective on the matter.

Fish, whose side sat fourth in the table when the season was prematurely ended, said: “We had games in hand and had we won those, we would have gone top.

“We had got most of our hard games out of the way and had quite a few games against the bottom six to come and we were hoping to win the league.

“It’s frustrating in so many ways but my partner is working on the NHS frontline, all geared up every day and that’s something to really worry about – it’s horrible to think she’s in that environment.”

Tenbury United manager Aaron Morris, whose side sat second, admitted the lack of a derby against Town was one of the biggest disappointments to arise from the campaign’s curtailment.

“They are the games you look forward to and there’s always a good turnout,” added Morris. “But for some reason the league, as they did last year, left both games until towards the end of the season.

“At least when we look back at the league table, we finished above Town, not that it makes much difference!” he joked.

“In the past, no disrespect to Town, we have been the favourites against them. This year I felt we would have been the underdogs. I think that would have worked to our benefit.

“The title race was quite open and it was going to be a case of whoever could go on a run of five or six games unbeaten would have been in the driving seat and I feel we could have done that.”

Ludlow Colts Reserves, in their very first season, sat third in Division One, between the two Tenbury teams, when proceedings were halted, leaving boss Tom Swinbourne another frustrated man.

He said: “We had a brilliant season and it was a shame it was cut short. Once we got used to the league, towards the halfway point, we really started to kick on.”