NON-LEAGUE NEWS: Whyteleafe’s history-making game in the FA Cup second qualifying round, due to be played at St Albans City tomorrow, was sensationally postponed this afternoon, as the Football Association stepped in over a questionable player registration.
The postponement marks a huge disappointment and embarrassing set-back for the ambitious Bostik League Division One South club. The club had booked a coach and sold all 50-odd seats to fans for the trip to Hertfordshire to play the Conference South side.
But a statement issued today by St Albans City said: “The club is disappointed to announce that tomorrow’s FA Cup second qualifying round match vs Whyteleafe at Clarence Park has been postponed due to an on-going FA charge against Whyteleafe.
“Club Secretary Tom Norman said: ‘Unfortunately at 1.30pm this afternoon we received confirmation that the game has been postponed. We would like to apologise to all of our supporters for the short notice however the situation was completely out of our control as Wyteleafe’s personal appeal was at midday today.
“‘As the disciplinary matter is still on-going it’s unclear when we will be playing our second qualifying round match, as soon as we receive confirmation we will make a statement.’
“St Albans City Football Club apologises for any inconvenience this has caused.”
The matter is understood to involve the use of an ineligible or unregistered player by Whyteleafe in a previous round of the FA Cup.
Whyteleafe, who are third in their Isthmian League division after winning four of their first four games of the season, had suffered another set-back of sorts in midweek, when their Vitality Cup tie at Egham Town was postponed due to a floodlight outage.
Inside Croydon has contacted Whyteleafe for a comment on the FA’s postponement of their cup tie, but no statement had been received by the time of publication.
Here’s this week’s round-up of news from the managers of the area’s three biggest non-league clubs.
Harry Hudson – Whyteleafe
A first defeat of the season for Whyteleafe in Bostik League Division One South, 2-1 at Sittingbourne last Saturday, was the side’s “worst performance by quite some distance”, according to the manager, who then had to contend with faulty floodlights at Egham in midweek
There was culmination of factors which resulted in our very disappointing performance against Sittingbourne on Saturday.
There’s no doubt that it was our worst performance by quite some distance. Fair play to Sittingbourne. We have had a lot of games recently and I think perhaps the emotion of the FA Cup game the previous Tuesday maybe sapped us. We also spoke about the need to avoid complacency in any game as we simply cannot get ahead of ourselves after a decent start. That being said, there are going to be some bad days at the office, and this was one of them.
It’s great we didn’t drop down the league following the other results on Saturday, but it was also a missed opportunity to put some distance between ourselves and our competitors.
The floodlight issue at Egham on Tuesday it is extremely frustrating though. We could have done with to another game to prepare for the St Albans match, but it is one of those things out of everyone’s control. Our players have been fantastic in dealing with these issues.
Kevin Rayner – Croydon Athletic
Coming back from 2-0 to win their FA Vase tie at Lingfield 5-2 in extra time was a decent performance last Saturday for Athletic, who have their first league action for a month in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division tomorrow
Lingfield tried to be nice and neat and we started strongly but couldn’t convert our dominance. We found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time after two poor goals were conceded. We had a number of absentees but it should not have affected the way we conceded the two goals.
We started the second half on the front foot and pressure was telling on Lingfield. We had a slice of luck with 30 minutes left as the Lingfield keeper didn’t deal with a ball well and handled outside the area. From that moment on there was only going to be one winner.
We scored twice through Nahum Green and Emanuel Oloyede to take the game into extra time, where a Sam Butler rocket and a great John Palluciano finish put us out of sight before Oloyede converted a last-minute penalty.
We showed a bit of character to come through the game, particularly after our defeat in the FA Cup a week earlier.
On Saturday, we get back to league action with an away game at Corinthian, followed by a midweek trip to Glebe.
It will be good to return to league action, as we have not had league game for a month due to our cup successes. We will have a full squad available again and it will be another tough game as Corinthian have started the season well also. We will need to put in another solid performance to keep our unbeaten league run going and add some points to keep in the mix at the top end of the table.
Craig Davies – Croydon
The Trams were without a game this week, which has given the squad time to work on a few things in training and try to get over a few injuries
We got the squad in to train together at Rylands on Saturday, as we had no no game. This allowed us to keep the group together and work on things going into our next fixture, Bearsted at home tomorrow.
It also gave me the chance to go to watch the reserves and cast my eye over a few trialists. One is being signed and will feature tomorrow!
We trained again on Thursday night. The group is feeling positive, as are the staff, and we believe this is the weekend we can get some points on the board.
Sat Sep 22: v Corinthian (A) – SCEFL Premier Division
Tue Sep 25: v Glebe (A) – SCEFL Premier Division
Wed Sep 26: v Cray Wanderers (A) – Bostik South East Div 1
Sat Sep 22: v Bearsted (H) – SCEFL Premier Division
Sat Sep 29: v Deal Town (H) – SCEFL Premier Division
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