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Page last updated at 19:57 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 20:57 UK

Bookies report 'suspicious' match

By John Sinnott

Two leading bookmakers plan to report suspicious betting patterns surrounding Sunday's Blue Square Premier game between Grays and Forest Green Rovers.

Blue Square and William Hill suspended betting on the match after a large number of wagers were placed on Grays to win after trailing at half-time.

Grays won 2-1 after going 1-0 down in the first 45 minutes.

"We'll be reporting this to the FA on Monday to ask how we progress," a Blue Square spokesman told BBC Sport.

He added: "We are withholding stakes in line with our regulations."

Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "We saw a most unusual betting pattern on this match involving a large number of requests for bets on Grays to be losing at half-time and winning at full-time.

It's always a big price for a team to be losing at half-time and to win at full-time

Blue Square spokesman Alan Alger

"We closed our book and reported our actions to the relevant authorities.

"We have no intention of paying out, pending any potential enquiries which may be undertaken."

Grays scored twice in just 50 second-half seconds to come from behind and beat Forest Green 2-1 in the Blue Square Premier game, the division from which teams are promoted to the Football League.

"We did see unusual betting patterns," said Blue Square spokesman Alan Alger, the firm that sponsors the division.

"We closed the market on Saturday. It looked extremely dodgy. It's always a big price for a team to be losing at half-time and to win at full-time."

Earlier this month, the Football Association charged five players for breaching betting rules, with some accused of gambling thousands of pounds.

The five have been charged with betting on a victory for Bury in Accrington's last game of last season.

All five face serious sanctions, including the chance of suspensions. That case is ongoing and the charges may not be proved.

As regards the match between Grays and Forest Green, the FA may decide the case does not warrant further investigation.

BBC Sport was unable to reach either of the two clubs for comment on Sunday.

Earlier this month, Macedonian club FK Pobeda were banned from European competitions for eight years after being found guilty of deliberately losing a match by governing body Uefa.

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see also
Grays 2-1 Forest Green
26 Apr 09 |  Non League
Ban on Macedonian club is upheld
15 Apr 10 |  Europe

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