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Fleet in hot water again
FOOTBALL: THURROCK FC could once again be in hot water after they played an ineligible player in a league cup tie, writes Luke Lambert.
Only three months after Fleet were relegated for fielding a banned player in a league match, they played new striker David Knight in the defeat to rivals Aveley on Tuesday, October 8, in the second qualifying round of the Robert Dyas League Cup.
However, club officials claim they did not know Knight had already played in the same round for another side a month earlier. Knight turned out for Met Police on Tuesday, September 3, against Chipstead FC – a match he scored in – meaning he was unable to play for another side in the competition for the rest of the season.
Knight also had a spell at Thurrock before playing for Met Police and has also turned out for Billericay and East Thurrock in the past. The Ryman League is aware of Knight’s ineligibility and say they are investigating.
A spokesperson said: “The league is aware Thurrock FC played an ineligible player in the Robert Dyas League Cup and takes any breach of the rules very seriously. “We cannot comment further until the investigation is complete,” he added.
If Thurrock had won the tie it is likely they would have been kicked out the cup competition. But the Ship Lane side could still face a fine.
Fleet were relegated from the Ryman Premier Division last season after playing striker Joel Barnett when he was on a suspension list.
They were docked three points and subsequently dropped into the relegation places. Despite appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Fleet failed to overturn the decision.
Fleet currently sit fourth in the Ryman League’s North Division. Tony Flood, Thurrock FC’s press officer, acknowledged the mistake and said it wouldn’t be repeated.
He said: “We made a mistake and shouldn’t have played David. “We didn’t realise he had already played in the competition and accept it is our fault.”
“We will learn from our mistake,” he added.
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