Hayling United have been thrown out of the FA Vase for fielding two ineligible players against East Cowes Vics in the last round.
The Humbugs were due to host Alresford Town in the second qualifying round on Saturday but have been replaced by the Isle of Wight team after an investigation.
The problem arose after the Humbugs fielded two Pompey Academy players – Chinedu Vine and Jordan Fitzharris – in the 3-0 win without realising this contravened FA rules.
It is a huge disappointment for the Wessex League premier division club who insist they were unaware of any wrongdoing.
‘It’s been an unwanted, painful learning experience for us,’ said chairman Argyle McGletchie.
‘It is the first time we have used players from the Portsmouth Academy and didn’t realise it constituted “work experience”.
‘Under the rules, that made them ineligible.
‘We are grateful to Portsmouth for letting us use their players and fully accept it was our responsibility to make sure they were allowed to play.
‘From the outset we have been open about the whole affair and not tried to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.
‘The Football Association appreciated that and deemed exclusion from this year’s competition sufficient punishment.’
Hayling boss Lee Paul was understandably upset.
‘I was told they could play and didn’t realise any of the issues,’ said Paul. ‘It appears to have been a simple error and the consequence is unfortunate.
‘The players were buzzing about playing in the next round and I have the job now of picking them up from the disappointment.’
n Moneyfields boss Miles Rutherford has the job of lifting his youngsters’ spirits up as they head west to take on Dorset side Gillingham Town (3pm).
The Copnor club exited the FA Cup in midweek after a bruising replay against Godalming Town.
‘We have to pick ourselves up and be prepared to go again,’ said Rutherford. Being such a young side, I am hoping that the players can bounce straight back because I have been pleased with their efforts so far.
‘We all thought we might struggle this season but our start has been very positive and the spirit in the camp is high.
‘This is a big game for us because we want to avoid going out of the FA Cup and FA Vase in the same week.
‘If that was to happen it would be hugely disappointing.’
Danny Boyle is unavailable for six weeks and Jack Morgan could be out for a spell with knee-ligament damage.
Rutherford, however, has Russell Rackley and Jamie Hore back to boost their midfield.
Moneyfields: Hook, Evans, Bailey, Lee, Page, Rackley, Hore, Gauntlett, Slater, Hutchings, Wain, Gregory, Gee, N’Doye, Scott.
n Horndean face a tricky tie at fellow Wessex League premier division outfit Christchurch but are boosted by the return of four influential players.
Hawks loanee Bobby Hopkinson, along with fellow midfielders Aaron Fennemore, Bryn McKie and Louie Bell, are all back in contention as the Deans fancy their chances of progressing.
‘We have got the pace in our team to hurt opponents,’ said manager Dave Carter.
‘The players coming back in just raises the profile again and gives us a few more options going forward.
‘We want to progress because this is a competition where it is possible for teams at our level to go all the way.’
Horndean: Howard, Blackmore, Perkins, Chapman, Sheppard, Smith, Paxton, Fennemore, Taylor, Warren, Gadd, Hayes, Hopkinson, Austin, McKie, Spicer, Bell
n Fareham boss Matt Parr regards his side’s tie at first division Whitchurch United as a potential banana skin.
‘This is a tricky little game for us,’ said Parr.
‘Our situation isn’t helped by the fact we have four or five players missing and we only have a small squad.
‘It won’t be an easy day and I am expecting a tough afternoon. We will have to dig deep and be at our best to avoid becoming victims of an upset.’
Rob Stock, Louie Martin, John Stock and Dan Byrne are all injured, while Ollie Warren has a virus.
Fareham Town: Douglas, Wall, Jones, Barnes-Andrews, Cuthbert, Boud, Pittman, Stevens, Windsor, Kirby, Dark, Tambling, Tattersall, Redman, Berry
n AFC Portchester aim to pull off an upset against premier division Bournemouth Poppies at Wicor Mill.
Petersfield Town host Hartley Wintney and US Portsmouth travel to Cowes Sports.