Bardsey’s dream of County Cup glory could be over after they were expelled from the competition for fielding an ineligible player in their fourth round tie on January 3.
Lee Barraclough’s side thought that they had set up a quarter final clash against Salts on February 7 after beating Boroughbridge 2-1 at Aldborough Lane.
However, the club were later informed that striker Danny Maw, who notched the equaliser against Boroughbridge, had picked up his fifth booking on December 20 in a 3-0 league win over Daz Ekin’s side.
This meant Maw was in fact suspended for the cup clash, even though Barraclough received a confirmation letter from West Riding FA on December 29 stating they had ‘no new suspensions starting within the next 14 days’.
Despite the West Riding FA sending a confirmation letter of Maw’s suspension on Friday, January 2, this was only delivered on January 5, with Barraclough stating there was ‘no way we were going to get that in time’.
Barraclough said: “Danny got his fifth booking of the season on the 20th of December but we didn’t know it was his fifth booking. We let them inform us of things like that.
“The only other point of contact is online where the suspensions are listed and that is normally bang up to date but there was nothing there and I was up at midnight checking.
“All we want to do is go to work, play our football and have a couple of pints. But this is the biggest cup we compete in, it’s the most prestigious thing we play in and we don’t get things wrong like that.”
The West Riding FA confirmed Bardsey have launched an appeal against the decision and will now be hoping for a u-turn at the side’s hearing on Monday, January 19.
Barraclough said: “There’s no malice here and we have got nothing against the County FA. I know it’s just an honest mistake and I hope it can be resolved.
“Our appeal has gone in and we believe we have got a very strong case. All we want is a replay and we just hope common sense will prevail.”
Barraclough was full of praise for his players’ response to the news of the cup disappointment with a 3-2 home victory over league leaders Field on Saturday.
He said: “I just can’t say enough good things about my players. I told them before the game to show Field who the best side were in this league and they said ‘no problem’.
“If we came away with a five or six nil scoreline they could not have any arguments because we dominated the game, but I’m still betting they will win the league.”