Altrincham Football Club who ply their trade in the Conference North, two promotions away from the football league, have been discovered attempting to manipulate the Golden Boot to ensure at least one trophy goes to Altrincham this season.
"Basically," said Rob Inns, who has been leading the investigation on behalf of the League Association For Fair Football (LAFFF), "Their striker, Damien Reeves, has been marked down as a scorer ten times at home, though we think that he may have scored just once at home."
LAFFF were alerted when Altrincham approached the league to have their scorer changed for their away match at Stalybridge Celtic.
"The Altrincham press secretary," said Inns, "has claimed that Damien Reeves scored Altrincham's goal in that match, despite two independent observations that Michael Twiss scored, and Michael Twiss celebrating, and the announcement being made that Twiss scored going uncorrected by Lee Sinnott the Altrincham manager."
This is quite a serious accusation, one that could land Altrincham in hot water.
"It's not the first time that Altrincham have attempted to get the official scorer altered," said Inns. "They have tried to claim that against Histon, Reeves scored, despite sending Adam Reid as the official scorer. Now, Adam Reid may be the substitute goalkeeper who didn't come off the bench, as they claim, but they definitely faxed through Adam Reid's name to the Press Association as the scorer. I've seen the form myself."
There is also an unsubstantiated claim that Reeves is actually two players, Damian Reeves and Damien Reeves.
"By getting two so similarly named players we think this may be a further attempt to manipulate the League's Top Scorer's chart," said Inns. "I can understand why they would do this, there's a thousand pound to the winner's club, as well as a trophy. They wouldn't have been able to do it in a higher league, there's too many witnesses from the press. In the Conference North, they think they can get away with it, but they can't."
The Altrincham press secretary, Mary Reeves, who coincidentally just happens to be Damien Reeves's mother, denies any wrong doing.
"Our Damien is a top quality goal scorer," she said. "I know a couple of times he's not been marked down as a goal scorer, but this is a mistake on the form, he definitely was playing, and he's definitely scored, I saw him score with my own eyes."
LAFFF's investigation continues.