Hastings United are facing a one-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player, according to the football club’s website.
As reported by www.hastingsunitedfc.co.uk, United’s play-off prospects are set to be hampered yet further by the deduction of one point for fielding an ineligible player in the goalless draw at home to Faversham Town on March 31, 2014.
A club statement read: “An unfortunate sequence of events that evening commenced with young left-back Sam Cruttwell suffering a knee injury during the warm-up, forcing a last minute amendment to the starting XI, Charlie Bachellier stepping in for his first game of the season.
“A knock-on effect of that change was the inclusion of newly-signed Bryce Masters among the substitutes, the former Rye United and Sidley United defender coming on for his senior debut in the 89th minute, having previously represented United at reserve team level during the 2009/10 campaign.
“However, it later transpired that Masters should have been serving a two-match suspension for accumulating 10 bookings since the start of the current campaign in his time playing for Rye. The ban had actually only come into effect on March 29, by which point Rye had withdrawn from Division One of the Sussex County League.
“From the club’s point of view, this is clearly a deeply regrettable administrative oversight, which has now led to United being charged by the Football Association for a breach of disciplinary rules.
“While the club does have the right to appeal against the inevitable point deduction, in the absence of any mitigating factors, it will sadly have to accept the punishment due, apologise for the error, and pray that it does not have a detrimental effect on the final league position.”
United have dropped outside the Ryman Football League Division One South play-off places following the 2-1 defeat away to champions Peacehaven & Telscombe yesterday (Monday).
The U’s must win their final game of the season at home to Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday and hope that Burgess Hill Town - who have replaced them in the all-important top five - drop points away to Faversham Town.