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Club will compete in FA Cup second round despite losing previous tie because of 'perplexing' error

Rory O'Callaghan

Published 
| Last updated 

Club will compete in FA Cup second round despite losing previous tie because of 'perplexing' error

A non-League team will compete in the second round of the FA Cup this weekend – despite losing their first-round match.

The lucky team who have been given a reprieve are the semi-professional side Horsham, who compete in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

The will come up against National League side Sutton on Sunday after being handed a second chance in the FA Cup.

That's after League One club Barnsley were kicked out of the competition because of an error, which has been described as "strangely perplexing" by BBC journalist Andy Giddings.

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Barnsley said an "administrative error" was to blame for fielding an illegible player in their first-round replay against Horsham on November 14, which the Yorkshire club won 3-0.

The ineligible player has not been named but is understood to be Aiden Marsh.

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When Barnsley played the initial match against Horsham, which ended in a 3-3 draw, Marsh was on loan at York.

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He was later recalled and started the second math but only players eligible for the original tie can appear in a replay.

"The club have fully cooperated with the investigation and have accepted the FA's decision," Barnsley said in a statement after their elimination was confirmed.

"We would like to apologise to our fans, players and staff for this regrettable error. This mistake - although unintentional - falls way below the high standards we set at this club and is simply not what you deserve."

Last month's ruling means Horsham will now play in the second round of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history.

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Horsham chairman Kevin Borrett told the BBC: "I'm really pleased for our club - also real sympathy for Barnsley as well. Their supporters will be distraught and I do wish them well.

"The Barnsley chair and I had a number of conversations over the weekend in the course of their preparation of the response to the FA charge.

"As clubs I think we have got on tremendously well across both ties and the supporters have got together on a couple of things and there is a real rapport between them as well."

He added: "Lets take nothing away from Sutton, they are a strong team, they are a league team so we will go there as underdogs but we will go with an attitude that it is there to be won.

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"I don't think Sutton will be taking this game for granted at all."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: FA Cup, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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