CORINTHIAN-CASUALS’ Ryman South play-off hopes are hanging by a thread after they were deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player just a day before the last game of the season.
Casuals were sitting in the last play-off spot knowing a win against mid-table Three Bridges on Saturday would secure them a place in the end of season shoot-out.
However, their destiny is now out of their hands and they will be reliant on other results going their way with Hastings United and Faversham Town leapfrogging them in the table.
On Friday, the Ryman League confirmed three points had been taken from Casuals’ record for playing Dave Hodges in the 3-1 home victory over Faversham on January 16 while he was suspended.
The club believed they had cleared his suspension by not playing him in a County Cup fixture but the league ruled he was ineligible for the Ryman South fixture at a disciplinary hearing on March 31.
And the Football Association have upheld the Ryman League’s initial decision, leaving the London club shellshocked.
The club tweeted: “A club statement regarding the outcome of today’s decision will be announced in due course. Suffice to say, all at the club are devastated.”
A Ryman League statement read: “On Friday, the Football Association upheld a decision by the League to deduct the points under Rule 6.9 for playing Dave Hodges in a 3-1 home win over Faversham Town on January 16 while he was still under suspension.
“Hodges was ruled to have been ineligible to play in the Ryman South fixture at a Ryman League disciplinary hearing on March 31 despite the club’s belief that they had cleared his suspension by not playing him in a county cup fixture.
“The FA’s decision is final and binding with the Ryman South table now reflecting the deduction.”