On-loan Lowestoft Town keeper caught up in Norfolk Senior Cup wrangle between Norwich United and Gorleston
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Norfolk FA are investigating claims that Norwich United fielded an ineligible player in their Norfolk Senior Cup win over Gorleston.
The Planters earned themselves a place in the showpiece final at Carrow Road after a 3-0 win over the Greens. But Gorleston boss Ricci Butler believes goalkeeper Jake Jessup should not have been allowed to play for United.
Jessup is on loan at Norwich United from Lowestoft Town and the Planters had sought permission from Norfolk FA for him to appear in last night's semi-final. However, Butler believes United 'played' the county's footballing chiefs.
'Hopefully we might still have a chance of being at Carrow Road, because of Norwich United playing an ineligible player,' said Butler.
'They said their other keeper (Tom Wright) wasn't fit, but he was out there warming up before the game and they have kind of played Norfolk County FA a little bit. So we are hoping that we will get to the final because of their misfortune.'
Norfolk FA opened an investigation this morning and are awaiting a response from United.
A Norfolk FA statement said: 'Norwich United requested permission to play Jake Jessup in their Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final against Gorleston as per 'Cup Rule 7', based upon the circumstances that: Their regular goalkeeper Tom Wright was injured and unable to play; The goalkeeper that they have in on loan, Jake Jessup, had not played in the required two fixtures due to the match between Norwich United and Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday 20 February being postponed.
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'Due to the specialist nature of the goalkeeping position and based upon the evidence above as well as previous precedent, permission was granted by our cup committee due to the exceptional circumstances.
'However, following the match being played on Tuesday night a further investigation is now being undertaken with regards to this matter and a further statement will be released in due course.'
While Butler sweats on the outcome of that investigation, he also has his attention on Gorleston's domestic form in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division. The Greens are currently 14th in the table while United – who as it stands will play either King's Lynn Town Reserves or Dereham Town at the home of Norwich City – remain on course to successfully defend the title.