I find it quite sad that teams have to field players from a different League to keep a team up, says relegation-threatend Metrogas manager Mark Warner

Wednesday 01st May 2019

METROGAS manager Mark Warner has called for a change in the rules concerning Kent County League sides fielding players from a higher level of football.

The Gas lost 2-0 to tenants Stansfeld in the bottom-of-the-table clash last night which leaves their Andreas Kent County League Premier Division survival hopes hanging by a thread.

Richard Longuet’s side went into the game on a run of seven games without a win but first half goals from Charlie Richmond and Lennie Wise boosted their survival hopes with three games to go.

Stansfeld are bottom of the table with 16 points and have three games remaining, at home to Farnborough Old Boys Guild on Saturday, away to Tudor Sports on Monday 6 May and they finish their campaign at home to Kings Hill on Saturday 9 May.

Metrogas, meanwhile, have 17 points on the board and complete their campaign with a trip to sixth-placed New Romney on Saturday.

Bexley have collected 19 points and have two games left to play, both at home to Kings Hill on Saturday and Farnborough Old Boys Guild seven days later.

Going by the statistics on the FA Full Time website, 12 of Stansfeld’s 14 players have featured in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division this season, including the likes of Joe Minter, whom has scored 22 goals in 35 appearances and striker Billy Shinners, who has scored 13 goals in 29 appearances.

Kent County League rules state that “players having played eight or more games in a higher Division of the League or any other League or a more Senior Cup, during the current season, shall be eligible to play in a lower Division providing that not more than three such Players take part in a match on one date.”

Going by statistics posted on the FA Full Time website, Stansfeld played Joe Smith (12 games); Minter and Shinners, who have all played more than eight games in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division but fell within the Kent County League rulings as all of the other players have played less than eight games in the higher division.

“I always double check the team sheets after the game and Stansfeld had all but two players that are signed for their SCEFL team,” said Warner.

“I find it quite sad that teams have to field players from a different League to keep a team up, as there's a few managers that do try to do the right thing in the Kent County League to develop and improve young players’ and Metrogas are devoted to do this.

“But again, unfortunately, for us we have had two recent games where unregistered players have been played and caught out, in which we lost both games, which sends out the wrong message to players and managers tying to improve football and this situation will push players and managers out of the lower tier game if the Kent County League do not change the system or make harsher penalties for wrong doing.

“Sorry if this seems like sour grapes but something has to change, as I have thought about leaving football because of this reason and possibly others as well.”

Visit Metrogas’ website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/metrogasfc