King’s Lynn duo on FA charges available for Carrow Road showpiece
King's Lynn joint boss Kevin Boon has confirmed midfield pair Kieran Doherty and Luke Thurlbourne are available for Friday's Norfolk Senior Cup final against Dereham at Carrow Road – ahead of a potential Norfolk FA hearing later this month into allegations of racism.
The UCL Premier Division runners-up have requested a personal hearing after being charged in relation to alleged incidents during Town's 4-2 home league defeat to eventual champions St Neots on April 16.
A trio of Saints' players reported they were racially abused in the title shoot out at The Walks. Both Thurlbourne and Doherty have denied the allegations which led to them being charged with a breach of FA rule E3 - relating to improper conduct or bringing the game into disrepute. The club were also charged with one count of breaching FA rule E20 - which states the club is responsible for the behaviour of players, officials, staff and supporters.
Boon insists the club will stand by the duo who are both in Friday's squad for the local showpiece against Ridgeons Premier Division runners-up Dereham.
'Luke and Kieran are available for selection,' he said. 'They have been charged, but the case hasn't been heard and nothing has been proven. Until that process has reached its conclusion through the correct channels, and any matters arising from the charges have been dealt with, then this club will support those lads.
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'I've spoken to the Norfolk FA to find out when the hearing would be and they want to tie the matter up within three weeks of receiving all the relevant paperwork from every party - which we would expect to be by the end of this month.'
Lynn's hierarchy also plan to fight separate FA charges brought against the club following the crowd disorder which marred Town's FA Vase semi-final, second leg exit to Coalville.
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'The paperwork has been sent back to the FA now,' said Boon. 'We have said we're not guilty, contrary to what some people may have said, on all three charges and we intend to defend our position at a hearing in London, whenever that may be.'
Boon insists the on going FA disciplinary issues should not deflect attention away from a competitive first season which culminates at Carrow Road.
'I think we've had a successful season,' he said. 'We took the league right to the end and we reached the FA Vase semi-finals as well. If you look at the crowds we have attracted and the progress on the field then we are the second biggest club in Norfolk. What's nice for me is to discover Norfolk clubs are ringing me up to try and arrange pre-season friendlies - so we must have done something right in the past year. I've had five Norfolk Ridgeons Premier clubs already on the phone.'