U’s fielded cup-tied player

Jacob Shelton in action for Bexhill United earlier this month
Jacob Shelton in action for Bexhill United earlier this month
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Hastings United unwittingly fielded an ineligible player on Monday night.

Jacob Shelton, who came on as a second half substitute in United’s 1-0 defeat at home to Burgess Hill Town, was cup-tied for the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup third round tie.

The 18-year-old striker had played for Bexhill United in the same competition earlier this season when they lost 5-0 away to fellow Sussex County Football League Division Two side Mile Oak on October 23.

Hastings would have been removed from the competition had they won the game and subsequently been found guilty of fielding an ineligible player, but the oversight is of less significance given that they lost and are now out of all of the various cups they entered.

Shelton is Bexhill’s leading scorer this season with 13 goals in all competitions having performed superbly since arriving at The Polegrove in the autumn. He has also played for Hastings’ under-18 and under-21 teams before making the first team bench lately.

It’s not the first time he has played for more than one team in the same competition during the same season. Last term Sidley United were thrown out of the Sussex County League’s John O’Hara League Challenge Cup after fielding Shelton in their quarter-final without realising he had represented AFC Uckfield in the same competition earlier in the campaign.