A cup game was delayed after firefighters were called to rescue the referee from a toilet.
The Women’s FA Cup game between Chatham Town and AFC Wimbledon on Sunday was delayed by half an hour after the official was left stuck inside a cubicle at the Bauvill Stadium, minutes before the scheduled kick off.
Both teams had lined up ready for action before it was noticed that the referee was nowhere to be seen.
Chatham boss Keith Boanas - who has managed at club and international level in the women’s game - said he hadn’t seen anything like it before.
He told KentOnline Sport: “We were waiting in the tunnel and everyone was like, ‘where’s the ref?’
“We knocked on the door and she was locked in the loo!
“It’s certainly not anything I had seen before and I think Wimbledon thought it was some kind of plan!”
The match was due to kick off at 1pm and the crowd was informed of a delay, with word soon getting around as to why, when the fire brigade turned up. Their quick response ensured there was only a slight delay to the second round fixture.
Kent Fire and Rescue confirmed they were called to reports of a person trapped in a toilet cubicle.
A spokesperson said: “One fire engine attended, and crews used tools to gain access to the cubicle. No injuries were reported.”
The referee - a female - had requested separate facilities to the male officials she was working alongside and given a changing room to use, with its own toilet facility, which she locked and couldn’t then open.
The Chatham manager said: “There are lots of spare dressing rooms and so she got a new one, right next to the manager’s office.
“She was on her own and ended up banging on the door to get out.
“Nobody could kick the door in, you couldn’t climb over or under, so we had to get the fire brigade and I have to say, they arrived quite quickly.”
The game kicked off at 1.30pm and Chatham ended up winning a nine-goal thriller thanks to a stoppage-time penalty.