FA Trophy: Farnborough are given a second chance by the FA

Farnborough have been given a second chance to visit the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium
Farnborough have been given a second chance to visit the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium

So Farnborough got what they wanted then - a second chance to make it into the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

The FA accepted Farnborough’s guilty plea of failing to fulfil a fixture when they only arrived with six players for last Tuesday’s second qualifying replay. But the FA took into account mitigating circumstances for them failing to field a side.

The FA has made it’s decision and we just have to get on with it. We’ll be very keen to win the game on Saturday

Puritans boss Mike Ford

The matter was discussed at a meeting of the FA on Monday and the decision means the replay will now take place on Saturday, on the same day as the third qualifying round ties, with the winners meeting Hartley Wintney in the next round on Tuesday.

A statement on Farnborough’s website read: ‘The club is pleased to announce that the FA Committee have ordered the replay of the match against Banbury United next Saturday November 25, with the winners to play the following round either the next Tuesday or Wednesday, November 28/29.

‘The club pleaded guilty to not fulfilling the fixture but having shown the mitigating circumstances, the FA ordered the game to be replayed, no fine or costs were ordered against the club and we are grateful to the committee. We look forward to the re-arranged fixture on Saturday.’

A Saturday replay will certainly be more beneficial to Farnborough rather than a midweek match regarding availability and travel to Banbury. Meanwhile, if the Puritans get through it will mean the Evo-Stik Southern League home fixture with Kettering Town will have to be rescheduled.

Manager Mike Ford said: “The situation we found ourselves in was very frustrating but the FA has made it’s decision and we just have to get on with it. We’ll be very keen to win the game on Saturday.”

Board member Steve Barlow added: “We’re disappointed by the decision and would have hoped to have had a greater insight into what happened on the night. But we can’t dwell on this, we need to move on and plan for the game.”