Chichester City told: You can’t replay points-loss game

Chichester City have been told they won’t be able to replay a game for which they have had three points deducted.

They fielded an unregistered player, goalkeeper Ben Hitchman, in the win against Three Bridges on October 16, and when it came to light, the Sussex League stripped them of the points.

As reported in the Observer last week, current City boss Adie Girdler had believed Hitchman to have been registered and hoped that, as the league had not awarded the points to Three Bridges, the game could be replayed.

But league secretary Paul Beard said the decision to replay a fixture was at the league’s discretion and it had been decided this would not happen.

He said: “The club were charged with this offence and responded in writing by the deadline set but declined to request a personal hearing.

“A league appeals sub-committee considered the case and decided it was proven and issued a fine of £100 and deducted the three points gained by Chichester. The match would not be replayed.

“This was all in accordance with the league rules. This decision was conveyed to the Chichester City secretary Michael Maiden on November 26.

“The letter stated that the club had a right of appeal, which had to be made within 14 days. As an appeal was not received by the deadline, the league deducted the three points from the Chichester City record.”

Beard said it was the club’s responsibility to check they were fielding only registered players, but Hitchman had not been registered at any time this season.