Belfast Telegraph

Ards face boot after team sheet blunder

A clerical error could cost Ards a place in the fifth round of the JJB Sports Irish Cup.

Ards, who drew fellow Championship One side H&W Welders at today’s cup draw, made a number of errors on their team sheet in Saturday’s Fourth Round tie against Coagh United at Hagan Park.

Ards won the tie 3-1 thanks to a brace from Darren Fitzgerald and a late goal from Stephen Doyle.

But their progress into the next round was thrown into doubt as their team sheet named Gary Spence, who was serving a one-match suspension at the time. Centre-back Spence did not play any part in the match and watched the game from the stands, with former Grove United player Rab Young drafted in to replace him.

Ards corrected the team sheet at half- time but Coagh United still lodged an appeal to the IFA against Justin McBride’s side.

Chairman Brian Adams said: “It was our mistake. We know that a silly error was made on the team sheet.

“The directors realised the error when we heard the team called out over the PA system but it was too late to change it. At half time we informed the referee of the mistake and told him the correct team.

“We gained no advantage. Every player who took part in the match was registered.

“We beat Coagh on the pitch with a team that was put out in good faith.”

Coagh United’s appeal inquires into the accuracy of the team sheet that included Gary Spence but Adams was keen to stress that Spence played no part in the game.

“Spencey watched the game from the home stand. Everyone in the press box, all the Ards fans and every one at Coagh all know that Gary played no part in the game,” he added.

“He’s well known figure and everyone at the game will know he didn’t play.”

Ards are likely to find out their fate sometime next week when the Challenge Cup committee meet to discuss the Spence case.

Coagh United refused to comment on the matter.

Belfast Telegraph

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