Football: Conference caught by Welsh move: Non-League Notebook

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The Independent Online
THE GM Vauxhall Conference has fallen out with the Football Association of Wales over the late postponement of two of tomorrow's Conference games which are on the pools coupons. Merthyr Tydfil should have been facing Woking at Penydarren Park in a league game - instead they will be playing a Welsh Cup tie at Cwmbran. Similarly, Kidderminster Harriers, who should have been at Telford, go west to Caersws instead.

'It is very embarrassing,' Peter Hunter, the Conference secretary, said yesterday. 'The FAW have been very unhelpful. We gave our fixtures to the pools companies early in August, before we knew about Welsh Cup dates. The FAW have refused all our requests to re- arrange these two games, they have been very intransigent.'

Even though Cwmbran were keen to play Merthyr on a midweek date, the FAW has insisted that all their second-round Welsh Cup ties are played tomorrow. 'Clubs that enter our competitions must abide by the rules,' Malcolm Stammers, for the FAW, said. 'We have cancelled all our Konica League of Wales games on Saturday, so if we had allowed Merthyr or Kidderminster to postpone their matches, Caersws and Cwmbran would have been kicking their heels.'

Also engaged on Cup business are the eight GMVC clubs who meet teams from the lower levels in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup this weekend, hoping to avoid the sort of embarrassing exit made by two of their Conference comrades in the last round.

Northwich Victoria and Boston United fell at home to humble opponents: Raunds Town and Aveley respectively. The Drill Field, Northwich, will be staging an FA Cup tomorrow, however. Colwyn Bay have been the Vics' tenants since their enforced departure from their home turf in the summer, caused by their refusal to join the League of Wales. The Welsh exiles and HFS Loans League Premier Division strugglers entertain their new local rivals, Altrincham.

Gateshead make the short trip to Spennymoor for what is a rare local derby for both sides, while Dagenham and Redbridge travel to Vicarage Road, Watford, on Sunday to take on Wealdstone.

Croydon have sacked two players who were sent off in their 1-0 Diadora League Cup win at Carshalton on Monday, and became involved in a fracas on the terraces. Mark Hopper, a centre-half, and Jeff Fulton, a substitute who had not been used on the field, were shown the red card after they allegedly made gestures at the crowd and jumped over the wall to intervene in a scuffle involving Hopper's brother.

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