One particular club fumes this week as it’s revealed their rule-breaker opposition Gateshead aren’t being been kicked out of FA Cup.
Bradford (Park Avenue)’s director of football Martin Knight has slammed the decision to not remove last Saturday’s opponents Gateshead out of the cup competition as “a disgrace” and “a scandal”.
The club feel that they should be the ones facing Runcorn Linnets in the third qualifying round, after Gateshead were found guilty by the Football Association of fielding an ineligible player in their 6-2 win over Mark Bower’s side in the last round.
The North East side have been fined £750, but will not be kicked out of the competition, and a furious Knight said via Telegraph and Argus: “It’s the most incredulous decision from the FA.
“Gateshead subbed a player on in the 83rd minute, but he wasn’t on their teamsheet, which makes him ineligible, it states that clearly in the FA’s rules.
“We’ve complained to the FA about it, but they’ve said they’re only giving them a fine, because the referee knew about it, which means we’re being punished for his incompetence, and that we were 5-1 down at the time, which is irrelevant and teams have come back from that before anyway.
“We haven’t even been offered a replay.
“It’s a disgrace, a scandal, and then the FA have the audacity to gag me, by not letting us appeal and telling me I shouldn’t speak to the media about it.
“I don’t care, and you can print every word I say to you in this interview.”
Knight added as the club member fumes as their rule-breaker opposition AREN’T kicked out of FA Cup: “Two years ago in the FA Cup, a player got a yellow card in the previous competition, but didn’t pay his £10 fine, so he got a one-match ban.
“He moved to a new club, but they didn’t know about it, played him anyway, and they were kicked out for fielding an ineligible player.
“You can look back at other instances where ineligible players have caused teams to be kicked out of the FA Cup too.
“With the FA making this decision, it’s a massive financial hit for us, as we’d have got over £5,000 for reaching the third qualifying round, and it would have been quite a soft draw for us at a team lower down the pyramid in Runcorn Linnets too.”
The FA have been approached for comment on the matter.
Gateshead hit Bradford PA for six to cruise into the next round, with three of the goals coming within five second half minutes sealing the visitors’ fate.
Free-scoring Heed lost defender Louis Storey with a head injury early on in the game, but they soon got themselves ahead when captain Greg Olley curled a free-kick superbly into the top corner.
Macaulay Langstaff then flicked a low Olley free kick just wide, before Bradford (Park Avenue) survived a frantic scramble in the box.
They then went level a minute later when Owen Bailey lost possession just outside the box. Isaac Marriott scored, it was initially ruled out for offside, before the referee then gave it.
The Heed then stormed to victory in the second 45, scoring five goals thanks to Dan Ward, Macaulay Langstaff, Matty Jacob and a late own goal sealing their side’s FA Cup progression.
Gateshead XI: Chapman, Tinkler, Storey (Williamson, 17′), Nicholson, Jacob, Bailey, Ward (Pani, 76′), 011ey (Wombwell, 83′), Langstaff, Campbell, Scott.
Goals: 011ey (20′), Ward (63′), Langstaff (65′), Jacob (68′, 81′), Own Goal (90+3′)
Bradford (Park Avenue) Goals: Marriott (39′, 90+4′)
Attendance: 502 (44 away)
After the win, Gateshead manager Mike Williamson said: “Obviously pleased to go through, the scoreline,I wouldn’t say was flattering, but I thought we were quite lethargic in our approach and disappointed to give away the goals we did, but ultimately, overall, the performance was enough to go through.
“Based on chances created, we could have been a few ahead (by the time Bradford got themselves back in the game) we’re asking the lads to play, handling the ball in difficult situations, which that is on the coaching staff, but we’ve got to improve our decision making and situations, and the fact is we want to play good football, we want to play through the thirds so that’s on us and I think it’s a difficult time to concede but ultimately we got the reaction we wanted to and got the goals in the second half to make it comfortable in the end.”