WINSFORD United fear the FA will throw the book at them after five of their players were sent off in five minutes of mayhem at Squires Gate on Saturday.
The dismissals all came in extra-time of their North West Counties League Cup tie after their manager Dave Twite had left the game. -And Twite, returning home to take his wife Amanda to hospital for an operation,wasthen involved in an accident on the M55 which wrote off his car and left him nursing bruising and whiplash.
His nine-year-old nephew Richard Wright was also in the car and also escaped with minor injuries.
'He was shaken up but the important thing is we were able to walk away from it. We were very lucky,' said Twite.
He knew nothing of the incredible turn of events which meant the tie had to be abandoned because Blues only had six players left on the pitch.
The NWCL meet tonight to decide whether the score should stand - United were losing 3-2 at the time - but an exit or replay is the least of their problems.
Not only might they have five simultaneous suspensions, they could be fined heavily by the FA, with failure to control their players the likely charge.
Their only hope is that an assessor's version of events matches their own opinion of Wigan referee Gary Hilton.
United now await the ref's report to see exactly who was sent off for what offence. But they plan to appeal against three of the red cards.
Two of the players, Stuart Wellstead and Neil Harrison, were yellow carded a second time for dissent, but both maintain they were merely asking questions and neither used bad language.
Skipper Dave Turner was dismissed when, after Squires Gate's third goal, he booted the ball towards the centre circle and it hit a player 30 to 40 yards away.
United contend the trouble started when Squires Gate sub Kev Urwin followed through on keeper Chris Kiernan, leaving him bleeding and in pain, yet he somehow escaped a red card.
Then Ian Wilkinson (for fighting), Wellstead, Harrison and Jamie Williams (a second bookable foul) followed.
Assistant manager Frank Rowland said: 'The ball accidentally hit a Squires Gate player on the back, but when Turner went, all hell was let loose.
'I have never seen anything like it. We were trying from the bench to calm it down, to hold the players off, but there is only so much you can do from the bench. The referee was weak, very poor, and had shown yellow cards around willy-nilly early on.
'Dave will read the riot act. We don't want this and maybe we don't want players who are capable of acting like this.We are limited as to what we can do to discipline the players ourselves. They are not paid, so we cannot fine them, but this could cost the club a bomb.'
United had previously had three players sent off this season, but six in one game is unprecedented in senior Mid Cheshire football and Winsford's history.
Chairman Mark Loveless may have been furious but tried to remain diplomatic.
'I will not comment until I have read the ref's report, but the matter has been reported to the FA. I understand a Squires Gate official claimed we were inciting our players to have them deliberately sent off and save the game.'