THURROCK Football Club have been docked three points and consequently relegated from the Ryman Premier League after being found guilty of fielding a suspended player.
The Gazette revealed last week that the club, along with Tilbury and Bishop's Stortford, had been charged with fielding forward Joel Barnett while he was on a suspension list.
He had been "sine died" after a Sunday league side he played for in north Yorkshire folded with unpaid fines that were spread among the club's staff.
At an FA hearing hearing on Friday, Fleet were found guilty and have been docked three points by the Ryman league, relegating them to the Divison One North.
In a meeting with the Ryman league board that followed, the club were told they would be docked three points, subject to an appeal.
Mark Stimson's side beat the drop by a mere point and with just one game to spare at the end of April.
A statement on the club's official website confirmed Thurrock's intention to appeal and signalled they were confident the decision could be overturned.
But they will have to wait 14 days to find out. The statement said: "Today the chairman and secretary of Thurrock FC met with the FA disciplinary committee with reference to the charge of a breach of FA Rule 10 in respect of a fixture Thurrock FC played on August 25 2012 and fielded an alleged sine die suspended player.
"Unfortunately The FA disciplinary found us guilty. In the meeting with the Ryman League that followed we have been deducted three points and are currently relegated to Ryman North.
"The decision will be appealed and we are still confident the decision will be reversed when we present our case again."
Thurrock fans and officials have taken to Twitter to air their views.
One committee member, Tony Flood, the club's press officer has already announced his intention to resign. In a tweet, he blasted the Ryman League.
He said: "Before my next tweet I just want Everyone to know that I have resigned and am no longer a a committee member of @ThurrockFC."
He then added: "The @rymanleaguenews [Ryman League] are a ******* disgrace. I will release a lot more on this over the next two days."
Fan Dave Sorenson said: "What a joke."
The League have announced they will make a statement on Saturday morning.