BARDSEY FC have called on the West Riding County FA to acknowledge a genuine Christmas mix-up and reverse their controversial ejection from the County Challenge Cup, writes LEE SOBOT.
One of the most successful grassroots side of recent years under the West Riding County FA banner, Bardsey thought they had booked a place in the quarter-finals with a 2-1 success at Boroughbridge on Saturday, January 3. But unbeknown to the multiple West Yorkshire League champions, striker Danny Maw was suspended, even though Bardsey received County FA documentation just five days earlier giving Maw the all-clear.
Maw, in fact, picked up his fifth booking of the season in the 3-0 league win at Boroughbridge on December 20 but Barraclough had not been notified of the ban and fielded the goal-getter in this month’s cup win at Aldborough Road.
Barraclough was then informed by the County FA that his marksman was suspended and that Bardsey would be thrown out of the competition.
Bardsey have now formally appealed with chairman Graham Hopton and Barraclough praying for a U-turn at their side’s hearing on Monday, January 19.
Barraclough explained: “Danny got his fifth booking of the season on December 20 but we didn’t know it was his fifth booking. We let them inform us of things like that. And it’s in black and white because we got a letter from them which we received on December 29 – dated December 26 – clearly saying ‘there are no new suspensions starting within the next 14 days.’ There was then another statement sent on Friday, January 2, which we received on Monday 5 saying he was suspended, but there was no way we were going to get that in time. 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. I named Danny Maw on my team sheet when there were 200 people there watching the game. They all know Danny because he’s so good.
“But on the bench I had Robert Dickinson, who is the league’s all-time top goalscorer plus Steve Palfrey, who has been all over the EvoStik League and Mikey Hall, who is ex-Silsden. It’s not like I didn’t have options. 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.”
As things stand, Boroughbridge will be hosting Salts in the quarter-finals on Saturday, February 7. But next Monday – when Bardsey’s appeal is heard–- is now D-Day. Bardsey chairman Graham Hopton added: “We’ve had few sleepless nights about it and it’s just a genuine mix-up. But we just hope justice is done and that at the end of the day common sense can prevail.
“To be fair to everyone concerned including Boroughbridge this can be sorted on the pitch rather than in an office with a game of football which, having spoken to my contacts at Boroughbridge, they would prefer.”
Asked for a response on the Bardsey situation, a statement released by County FA yesterday read: “It is regrettable that Bardsey have fallen foul of an indiscretion which contravenes the rules of the association.
“It’s never an easy decision to eject teams from any of our competitions; however we must act in accordance with the rules. In accordance with the FA Discipline handbook, if a player receives five cautions between the first day of the season and 31st December they will be suspended for a period of one match and be fined £15. It is the club’s responsibility to keep a record of how many cautions a player has received during the season.
“Non-receipt of paperwork is not a defence if a player plays under suspension. It is the club’s duty to notify the County Football Association if you do not receive correspondence relating to an incident following a fixture. We wish Bardsey the very best of luck with the rest of the season in the West Yorkshire Association Football League.”
In the County Cup action on the field on Saturday, Beeston St Anthony’s raced into the quarter-finals with a 5-1 victory in their delayed tie at home to Knaresborough Town. Ryan Boden, Stephen Crawford, Matthew Moon, Ashley Westcarr and Joe Rossiter all struck for Saints in the face of a Paul Atkinson strike for Knaresborough. Beeston will now welcome Carlton Athletic in the quarter-finals.
In the County FA Challenge Trophy, Mount St Mary’s were ousted in a 4-2 fourth round loss at Tadcaster Magnet while East End Park WMC Reserves lost 3-1 at Honley.