Scott: We were not trying to pull a fast one

Portsmouth skipper James Scott. Picture: Mick Young
Portsmouth skipper James Scott. Picture: Mick Young
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Portsmouth captain James Scott has admitted his disappointment at a lack of support from the Southern Electric Premier League.

His St Helens outfit were hit with a points deduction for fielding unregistered players in the clash with Calmore Sports on Saturday.

It is not the first time the club has found itself on the wrong side of the league’s no-nonsense disciplinary enforcers.

Portsmouth were hit with a mammoth 60-point fine back in 2007 – ultimately costing them their place in the league’s top flight.

With relegation confirmed, they were then sent down an extra division as further punishment for their indiscretion.

Now they are in hot water yet again.

On Tuesday, the league announced a 10-point deduction after the club had failed to complete the registration of five of their colts using the new online system.

Faced with a flurry of late drop outs, skipper Scott admitted he must share some of the responsibility but was still upset with the end result.

Scott said: ‘I had a barrage of phonecalls on the Friday with players pulling out for a variety of reasons, so I was missing six of my first team.

‘It’s a bit difficult to find six players – the only way we could do it was by using colts.

‘I have never dealt with the registration on the website and we’ve got a new committee so the lady who was doing it had asked for help, only to be told to look at the website every time.

‘As it turns out, five of the players were half-registered but the whole process had not been completed when I went to input the results on the website.

‘So I got on the phone to Steve Vear (general secretary), who told us we would be in for a fine and a points deduction.

‘The players were kids who have been colts for goodness knows how long – it’s not like we’ve used foreign players.

‘We were up front about it, so it’s not like we tried to pull a fast one.

‘But after reviewing it, they’ve only docked us 10 points instead of 25 – with the 15 suspended.

‘We thought it was a little bit harsh because it’s not a clear-cut system to use and we were using young players who are at our club.

‘It’s a very, very different situation to 2007 and one we are a little bit upset about.’

The league have made it clear to all clubs their disciplinary measures have been tightened this year with several already falling foul for various rules.

‘I hoped the league would look at it a bit more favourably because they were partly registered and it was down to us struggling to use the website properly,’ said Scott.

‘Maybe they are trying to set a precedent.

‘But at the end of the day, I suppose it comes down to my responsibility.

‘I didn’t physically check before the game and I should have done but there is a lot to do when you’re captain.’

Portsmouth make the short trip to United Services tomorrow.

UNITED SERVICES: Lee Carroll, Damian Carson, Dominic Carson, Cody Henderson, Gary Hounsome, Reggie Marshall, James Marshall, Tom May, Tom Mason, David Cox, Dan Sharpe

PORTSMOUTH: Farshan Jemildar, Jamie Mitchell, James Moon, Rob Jones, Dave Henderson, Alex Hammond, Jed Whitecross, James Scott, Dean Oliffe, Ed Dixon-Lowe, Matt Shaw