‘The greyest of grey areas’ is the verdict from Horsham after being ordered to replay their Velocity Cup match with Walton Casuals over a technicality with the eligibility of George Landais.
Goals from Toby House, Dean Bown and Steve Metcalf had seen the Hornets secure a comfortable second-round success at the end of October to set-up a clash with Premier Division outfit Dulwich Hamlet.
But the Bostik League have ruled that the match will have to be replayed as Horsham did not submit written confirmation that Landais, who is on short-term loan from Lewes, was cleared to play.
The ruling comes despite the fact that his parent club had not entered the competition and had agreed he could play.
Hornets boss Dominic Di Paola said: “It’s the greyest of grey areas. It’s so grey it could not be anymore grey, it’s as grey as my hair is going this season.
“Jeff (Barrett) our secretary is blaming himself, but it is the most flaky ruling I have heard. We should have sent an email apparently, saying we were going to play George - there is no other competition we have to do that in, and despite us having a contract with Lewes with what games he can play in.
“We have to go back up there, but no-one is at fault. It’s harsh to have to replay it and I am sure they don’t want to either.”
The match will be replayed on Tuesday night, following the Hornets’ trip to Greenwich Borough in South Division action on Saturday - a side Di Paola has tipped for the title.
He said: “No-one expects us to get anything. We will do as well as we can. They are flying and doing ever so well.
“For me they are probably favourites for the title. If they get on a good run, then they have a lot of quality in their side.
“For us, if you take Chipstead out of it, we have done alright over the last eight weeks. We have given our all and that is all you can ask for as a club and a team.
“I can fault us on some things we do, but I cannot fault the attitude and desire.”