Minor league FA Cup giantkillers Droylsden were thrown out of the competition on Monday for fielding an ineligible player in the latest twist in their controversial second-round saga with Chesterfield. Droylsden, who play in the Conference North, two divisions below the Football League, beat the League Two side 2-1 in a replay last week but defender Sean Newton (pictured with exultant fans), who scored both goals, played despite being suspended. The FA ruled on Monday that Droylsden, who had already knocked out League Two Darlington in the first round, be thrown out of the Cup and replaced by Chesterfield, who will now play Championship (second division) side and former winners Ipswich Town in the third round on Saturday. Droylsden, based near Manchester, can appeal against the decision but must do so by Tuesday morning. There might be some sympathy for them if they claimed they were confused about Newton's eligibility for the latest instalment of what has been a controversial and convoluted tie. The first attempt to play the game, at Chesterfield, was abandoned at halftime due to fog with Droylsden leading 1-0. When they met again Chesterfield's players stood still to allow the non-leaguers to walk in an equaliser to make the final score 2-2. That came about after Jack Lester half-heartedly lobbed the Droylsden keeper to score when giving the ball back after the visitors had put it out of play to allow treatment to an injured Chesterfield player. In the replay Chesterfield were leading 2-0 with 20 minutes remaining when that game too was abandoned, after floodlight failure.
29 December 2008
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