Woodbridge could be thrown out of Vase

WOODBRIDGE Town face the prospect of being thrown out of the FA Vase and missing out on much-needed potential revenue after allegedly fielding an ineligible player.

Nick Garnham

WOODBRIDGE Town face the prospect of being thrown out of the FA Vase and missing out on much-needed potential revenue after allegedly fielding an ineligible player.

The Woodpeckers were due to face fellow Ridgeons League Premier Division side Ely in a Second Round Proper replay at Notcutts Park last night, after the two sides drew 1-1 in Cambridgeshire on Saturday.

However, the match was postponed pending a Football Association investigation after Woodbridge realised there was a potential problem over the eligibility of one of their players. It is understood that defender Ben Miller, who came on as a substitute during Saturday's draw, was due to serve a one-match suspension for picking up five bookings.


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Players are suspended for one match 21 days after receiving their fifth caution.

If the club are found guilty of infringing the competition's rules, Woodbridge will almost certainly be removed from

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this season's FA Vase and face the prospect of an FA fine as well.

It could prove to be an expensive episode, with the winners of the replay collecting �1,200 in prize money and the prospect of playing for a purse of �1,300 in the Third Round Proper away to St Ives, who were 2-0 winners at FC Clacton on Tuesday.

Woodbridge would also miss out on the potential revenue generated from staging the replay in terms of gate receipts and bar takings.

Martin Head, chief executive of Suffolk FA, said yesterday: “All credit to Woodbridge, who contacted us and told us that there was a problem, which we have confirmed to the FA who are now investigating.

“As a result the replay against Ely has been postponed pending their decision.”

John Beecroft, chairman of Woodbridge Town FC, said he could not comment on the situation due to the FA investigation.

Representatives of the club will attend an FA hearing at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday when their fate will be decided.

Find out the story behind last Saturday's shock 9-9 Premier Division scoreline in Nick Garnham's latest Ridgeons Scene & Heard blog

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