CLUBS at the foot of London Division Four South-West have reacted angrily to the news that as many as four sides could be sent down this season, instead of the published and agreed three.

This amendment, which has come just two months before the end of the campaign, has been prompted by Cobham's almost certain second relegation in two seasons.

The Surrey side, who were 'geographically moved' to London Three South-East will rejoin the South Western section - comprising clubs from Hampshire and Surrey - meaning that room has to be made for them.

Both Petersfield and Southampton, who were clambering for safety by targeting the fourth-from-bottom spot, are furious that the goal posts have been moved so late.

Much will hinge upon the decision of Old Blues, the club that exited from London Three South-West midway through the season. They have the right for a one-place relegation drop, but are contemplating a further slide to Surrey One instead.

If Old Blues do take their place in Four South-West, then Petersfield will be forced to drop to Hampshire One, despite the likelihood of finishing seventh in the ten-team league.

"Cobham are entitled to move back across to their correct geographical region should they be relegated this season," said league secretary Mike Ward. "That is the reason for the extra relegation."

But Petersfield will question and protest in every way possible should this be enforced while this has dashed Southampton's hopes.

"We were still optimistic," said skipper Marcus Coffin. "There was still a chance for us but now it is mathematically more difficult so our optimism is really no more."