Magpies blast decision to replay league game against Thetford Town

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Heacham has labelled the Thurlow Nunn League’s decision to replay their league fixture against Thetford Town this weekend as ‘ridiculous’.The Magpies have been told they must play their game against the Brecklanders following an emergency league meeting last night.Last week, Thetford Town were expelled from the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division play-offs after it was revealed they fielded a banned player, Josh Wells, in their 2-0 semi-final victory at Mulbarton Wanderers.The defender was meant to be serving the second match of a five-game ban for misconduct that he received when playing for Newmarket Town in February.Wells also featured against Heacham during the club’s 6-0 league defeat on the final day of the season last month. Former manager David Griggs, who continues to help the club in the background, said: “It is a ridiculous decision and why should we be punished for something we haven’t even done some three weeks after the season has ended?”It’s a total shambles and the whole situation is becoming even more of a mess with this latest decision. “Thetford played an illegal player in two games so they should just be kicked out of the play-offs, end of.”The matter should have been resolved before now. You have to ask yourselves why the league didn’t spot that Thetford played an ineligible player before the semi-final, especially if he played against us the week before. “We operate on one of the smallest budgets in the league and who’s going to cover our expenses? Being forced to play this game could end up costing us between £700 and £800.”Heacham have recently changed management with Paul Hunt replacing Griggs in the dugout and some players and coaching staff have left. If the Magpies refuse to play the game they are likely to receive a hefty fine.Thetford claimed that there was ‘overwhelming evidence’, that neither the club nor the player were made aware of his suspension. The Brecklanders appealed the league’s expulsion and, after an FA hearing earlier this week, a decision was made to replay the semi-final fixture with Mulbarton.But the situation took a further twist with the league’s announcement late last night. It is believed that Dereham – sem-final losers to Newmarket Town – have demanded to the Thurlow Nunn authorities that the Thetford against Heacham fixture should be replayed as it could impact the final league standings.Dates regarding the semi-final and final – against hosting Newmarket Town – will be confirmed following discussions between the clubs involved.

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