Wisbech Town handed new opponents after Spalding United thrown out of FA Vase

Wisbech Town, red, will visit Walsall Wood now on Saturday. Picture: Steve Williams

Wisbech Town, red, will visit Walsall Wood now on Saturday. Picture: Steve Williams - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town will travel to Walsall Wood in Saturday's FA Vase third round after Spalding United were kicked out of the competition.

As predicted in today's EDP, the Fenmen have been robbed of a high-profile derby clash due to the Tulips being thrown out for fielding an ineligible player in their 3-0 win at Wood in the last round.

An FA statement said: 'Following an FA investigation, an FA Vase sub-committee have considered submissions made on behalf of Spalding United and concluded that Garfield Robinson was not eligible to play in the tie for Spalding United, as it was established that he was under suspension under an assumed name with the Northamptonshire FA.

'Therefore, the sub-committee decided that, in accordance with its discretionary powers under FA Vase Rule 1(d) and pursuant to Rule 16(b), Spalding United are removed from the competition as they were found guilty of playing a player that was not correctly qualified in accordance with FA Vase Rule 15(d).

'Furthermore, the prize fund payment is now forfeited and will be reimbursed to The FA. No further action was taken against Spalding United by this Sub-Committee in relation to The FA Vase competition as removal from this season's competition was deemed sufficient punishment.

'Walsall Wood were reinstated into the competition and will play at home in the third round proper against Wisbech Town on Saturday.'

The Fenmen now have four days to sort transport, and players, for the 226-mile round trip rather than make the short journey to Lincolnshire they had been expecting.

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Joint boss Paul Cousins, whose side host Eynesbury Rovers in the UCL this evening, said last night it's 'not ideal' that their fixture has been moved at 'very short notice'.

Spalding – top of the United Counties League Premier Division that Wisbech sit seventh in – could yet lodge an appeal and are likely to issue a statement on the matter later today.