MONEYFIELDS have been found guilty of fielding an ineligible player by the Hampshire FA and look set to be deducted three points by the Wessex League.
The Dover Road club will decide in the next week whether to appeal against the decision.
Manager Dave Carter believes it is ‘rough justice’ and insists the club are being harshly treated.
The league leaders fielded new signing Ash Howes twice in the new year after signing him from Blackfield & Langley.
Howes was under a two-game suspension but Carter remains adamant that Moneyfields are innocent of any wrongdoing.
‘We checked the Hampshire system and could find no record of it,’ said Carter.
‘Apparently when the player signed for us Blackfield had it wiped from the system.
‘I accept it is the club’s responsibility to find out if a player is suspended but there was no way that we could check.
‘The system is wrong. It is not our fault because the club did all the checking it was possible to do
‘After he signed for us on December 16, he went away on holiday for a few weeks.
‘He trained with us on January 5 and the next day we checked the Hampshire website and his suspension wasn’t on it.
‘We have to decide whether it is worth making an appeal.
‘Worst case scenario is that we will get deducted three points and if so then maybe we will just take it on the chin.
‘It will only make us all the more determined to go on and win the title.’
Howes only appeared twice for the club and has since moved to Horndean.
Moneyfields hold a seven-point lead at the top of the league, ahead of closest rivals Blackfield & Langley and Portland United.
A points deduction would bring Carter’s side back within touching distance of the chasing pack.
Wessex League premier division competitions secretary John Gorman confirmed Moneyfields were facing a points deduction.
‘Moneyfields have been found guilty of breaking the rules by fielding an ineligible player,’ said Gorman.
‘The punishment for that is a fine and a points deduction.
‘It is up them if they want to appeal the decision.’
Carter is unhappy about the situation but the Moneys boss remains defiant his side can lift the title and earn promotion.
All the work has been put in on and off the pitch and he is determined to ensure it is not wasted.
‘It will be tragic if this costs us the league title,’ said Carter.
‘We have been top since October and have only dropped two points in the last 16 games.
‘A lot of people have put in a great deal of time and money at the club.
‘We had our ground grading this week and apart from a few minor things that need to be done we are ready to go up.’