Matthew Parsons: Cray Valley wishes to apologise for allowing this situation to occur

Monday 06th November 2017

CRAY VALLEY have apologised to their supporters after being found guilty of playing an ineligible player during their 3-1 home win over Cricklewood Wanderers in The FA Vase First Round on 21 October.

The club fielded left-back Matthew Parsons in the game and realised that he had already played in The FA Vase this season for Southern Counties East Football League First Division club Erith & Belvedere.

The Football Association have eliminated Cray Valley and have reinstated Cricklewood Wanderers for a Second Round trip to Bracknell Town this coming weekend.

“At a meeting of an FA Vase Sub-Committee held on Thursday 2 November 2017, the Members considered the charge raised against Cray Valley PM FC by The Football Association on Monday 30 October 2017 for an alleged breach of FA Vase Rule 15(e) in relation to playing an ineligible player in The Buildbase FA Vase First Round Proper tie with Cricklewood Wanderers on Saturday 21 October,” said a club statement, which was posted on their website.

“Having given all the evidence before them due consideration, the Members found the charge of a breach of FA Vase Rule 15(e) proven, insomuch that Matthew Parsons was ineligible to play in the above match having already played for Erith & Belvedere in the Competition this season.

“The Members ordered that Cray Valley PM FC shall be removed from this seasons Competition and the tie be awarded to Cricklewood Wanderers FC. The prize fund payment due to the winning Club shall be paid to Cricklewood Wanderers FC. The prize fund payment due to the losing Club shall be withheld by The FA. No further action was ordered against Cray Valley PM FC.

“Cricklewood Wanderers FC will now play at away to Bracknell Town FC in the Second Round Proper with this match to be played on Saturday 11 November 2017.

“Matt Parsons made his debut for Cray Valley PM in the 2-1 defeat at Lordswood on Saturday 16 September, after signing from Erith & Belvedere FC, and played a further six matches for the club before the FA Vase tie with Cricklewood Wanderers.

“With the club entering the FA Vase at the First Round Proper stage, the club fielded its strongest team available at that time, without consideration to the playing record of its players in previous rounds of the competition.

“The club was made aware of its error by the Secretary of Erith & Belvedere FC and once the club had confirmed the facts, it immediately made contact with the Football Association to inform them of this oversight.

“Although the club is disappointed to be removed from the competition, the club accepts the decision of the FA Vase Sub-Committee and have no plans to appeal.

“The club wishes to apologise to its supporters, players and management, the Southern Counties East Football League, Kent FA and the Football Association for allowing this situation to occur.”

The Eltham based club sit in fourteenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 14 points from 15 games.

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