Cobblers are to make an official complaint with the English Football League regarding Scunthorpe United’s team selection on the final day of the League Two season, according to a report in The Guardian.
Scunthorpe started with seven teenagers in the 7-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers, including four players from their U18s side and a 17-year-old first-year scholar in goal. The margin of victory was sufficient for Rovers to win promotion on goals scored after they finished level with Northampton on both points and goal difference. The Cobblers won 3-1 at Barrow on the same afternoon.
The Guardian are reporting that Northampton believe Scunthorpe’s team selection ‘compromised the integrity’ of the final day of the season and the club have raised concerns with the EFL and the Football Association about the circumstances.
EFL guidance states that from the fourth Thursday in March, any team sheet for a league game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the previous league game. Scunthorpe followed those guidelines having also played a very young team in their previous fixture.
The Iron made three changes for the trip to Rovers, with second-year scholar Oliver Lobley, whose own goal gave Rovers the lead at the Memorial Stadium, making his league debut. The average age of the starting line-up was 20.
Bristol Rovers will also be investigated by the FA for the pitch invasion which occurred in the 85th minute following their seventh goal. That delayed the game and meant it finished long after full-time at Barrow.