MALDON and Tiptree manager Wayne Brown believes the decision to end the non-league football season below the National League was made too hastily.

The Football Association confirmed last week that all results in non-league's steps three to seven will be expunged and promotion and relegation scrapped, following the coronavirus pandemic.

Maldon are 14 points clear at the top of BetVictor Isthmian League division north with 12 games to play and were clear favourites to go on and lift the title, this season.

But with the campaign now ended by the FA, the Jammers have been denied the chance to earn promotion to the premier division, much to boss Brown’s frustration.

He said: “We’re extremely disappointed with the decision.

“We’ve had a really good season and to have lost only two of 26 games is no mean feat.

“We’ve put ourselves in a fantastic position to win the league.

“I think what disappoints me the most is that they’ve made this decision so quickly – I just don’t understand what the rush is.

“The second qualm I have is – who has made this decision?

“I learnt of the decision through one of my players, who'd seen it on social media.

“My third qualm with this is that last season, the decision was made to restructure the league and the format that they were going to use was points per game.

“Heybridge won the play-off but didn’t achieve enough points per game to go up; I can’t understand why we haven’t done that.

“Fourthly, with regard to the Premier League and the EFL, there is a feeling that the season must be finished to protect the integrity of the competition – so does that mean that there’s no integrity at our level?

“Copious amounts of money has gone into this season and other seasons but they have now denied us the opportunity to finish.

“There’s been no communication from the league and I found out the news through social media.”

Maldon had lost just twice in the league this season and also reached the FA Cup second round where they hosted Newport County after knocking out League Two side Leyton Orient.

“The players are devastated, as you would imagine,” added former Colchester United promotion winner Brown.

“They’ve put in a huge amount of work and sacrifice throughout the season and their efforts have been second to none.

“They’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices in terms of training, travelling to matches after work and long distances and coming away from family time.

“They’re extremely disappointed but we need to watch this space.”