Joint Storks boss Liam Smith has expressed his disappointment after Padiham were removed from the FA Vase with immediate effect.
The club was banished from the competition on Wednesday with correspondence from the Football Association confirming that the club had breached the rules by playing two ineligible players in the 5-0 win over Thackley.
The club had registered Luke Holden and Jake Hargreaves in time for the rescheduled tie after the original fixture on September 9th had been postponed.
However, according to regulation, the paperwork for the duo would have to be completed previous to the initial date if they were to be eligible for that first round qualifying clash.
“It’s not good,” said Smith. “It’s really not ideal but it’s a genuine error, a misinterpretation of the ruling. We registered two players after the postponed tie against Thackley, we signed them and had confirmation through.
“We played them on the rescheduled date in September but the FA has responded and notified us that they had to be registered in time for the original date.
“It wouldn’t matter if the tie had been postponed three or four times, the player(s) has to be registered in time for the initial date.
“Our secretary wasn’t aware of that ruling. We weren’t aware of that ruling. It’s disappointing because we were expecting a good run in that competition. We are a little bit disgruntled with the outcome.”
Smith added: “We won’t appeal. We were told in no uncertain terms that there would be no point in attending Wembley on Thursday because we wouldn’t be successful. The same thing has happened to quite a lot of clubs.
“Secretaries are volunteers and he’s absolutely gutted about the error. He’s blaming himself and that’s not fair.
“We’re not the first club this has happened to so I think it needs a bit more clarification. It’s difficult because there’s only so much you can ask of volunteers.
“It’s all a learning curve. It’s just one of those unfortunate things so we’ll just have to move on. We can’t let it affect our momentum.
“It will give us a chance to train and hold a mini pre-season. We’ve got three games in a week coming up so we can go and watch some of our opponents, do our research and plan ahead.”
As a result, the Storks will no longer host Ashington at the Ruby Civil Arena tomorrow. The club’s next fixture is now scheduled for September 30th when they’ll take on Barnton at Townfield in the Hallmark Security Premier Division.