Droylsden expelled from FA Cup

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The Independent Football

Droylsden manager Dave Pace has vowed to fight the decision to throw the minnows out of the FA Cup after describing his club's costly mistake as "the slightest of slight errors".

The Blue Square North side were punished today for fielding an ineligible player in the final game of their epic second-round tie against Chesterfield.

Pace, who is also chairman of Droylsden, disputed the FA Cup protest sub-committee's decision which means League Two side Chesterfield will now play Ipswich in the third round on Saturday - unless Droylsden succeed when their appeal against the expulsion is heard on Wednesday.

After two postponements and a draw, at the fourth time of asking Droylsden beat Chesterfield 2-1.

But defender Sean Newton, who scored both goals for the Manchester side, should have been serving a suspension for picking up five bookings.

Pace told PA Sport: "We're obviously disappointed. It never ceases to amaze me really.

"It is an administration error. We had the game the other night with the floodlight failure so we assumed Sean would have been out for the [New Year's Day game against] Vauxhall Motors game.

"It is the slightest of slight errors. He is not a ringer and he has been registered for two years. We didn't try to lie and to be kicked out of the FA Cup shows there is no grey areas.

"I just think it's absolutely ridiculous. We have the right to appeal so that is what we will be doing."

Pace also insisted money was not an issue, despite the £30,000 the club would have received for making it through to the third round now being diverted to Chesterfield.

He said: "At the end of the day it's about football. Even if the appeal fails we beat Chesterfield and they can't take that away from us."

The tie between Droylsden and Chesterfield had already been dogged by incident, with the first postponement due to fog and the second caused by floodlight failure.

Those games came either side of a 2-2 draw at Saltergate which was controversial because Chesterfield deliberately conceded an equaliser after scoring when the ball had been put out for an injury.

Chesterfield manager Lee Richardson had expected today's verdict.

He said: "This has been a cup tie with many talking points and it seems that the FA has now had the last word. The outcome is no real surprise as the rules clearly set out what is likely to happen if a club plays an ineligible player."