Cup winners stripped of trophy

The Punnetts Town team which beat Bexhill Rovers 3-1 in the final of the Hastings & District FA Lower Divisions Cup but has now been stripped of the trophy
The Punnetts Town team which beat Bexhill Rovers 3-1 in the final of the Hastings & District FA Lower Divisions Cup but has now been stripped of the trophy

The winners of a local football knockout competition have been stripped of the trophy.

Punnetts Town have had to hand back the Hastings & District FA Lower Divisions Cup after fielding an ineligible player in the final.

The trophy will instead go to a Bexhill Rovers side which was beaten 3-1 by Punnetts in the final at The Pilot Field, home of Hastings United FC, on Thursday April 14.

It means Rovers are celebrating a league and cup double having finished 12 points clear at the top of Macron East Sussex Football League Division Four with 16 wins from 18 matches.

Hastings & District FA press officer Russell Davis said it’s the first time he can recall a team being stripped of one of the organisation’s trophies.

The possibility of an eligibility issue was initiated when Tony Cosens, of the Hastings & District FA, received an email expressing concern that a Punnetts player may have played at senior level during the same season, which is against competition rules.

On investigating the enquiry, the Hastings & District FA discovered that was the case and thereby stripped Punnetts of the trophy. Punnetts appealed to the Sussex County FA, but the Hastings & District FA’s decision was upheld.

The annual general meeting of the Hastings & District FA will take place at The Pilot Field on Wednesday June 29 from 7.45pm.

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