Boatmen sink down and out of Southampton Senior Cup in disappointing disqualification

Sholing F.C. have been disqualified from the Southampton Senior Cup after the Southampton Divisional Football Association have found the club guilty of breaching the cup competition rules.

The rules state a maximum of two loan players can be used across the duration of the competition, but the Boatmen’s rule breach has left them steering towards an iceberg of a season.

The club released an official statement following the decision:

“The club are sad to say that whilst we beat Hythe & Dibden in the last round, we exit the Southampton Senior Cup.

A genuine mistake on our behalf was made when we misinterpreted the rules. We believed we could play two loan players per round, but it turns out it’s two loan players in the whole competition.

We’ve asked the SDFA to make it clearer moving forwards so others can avoid the same mistake. They have confirmed they will look at the wording of the rules.

It means games against AFC Stoneham and Hedge End Town were also affected earlier in the competition. We’d like to apologise to all the clubs involved in this. We’re assuming they’ll be reinstated. Good luck to all in the next round.”

Sholing are now guaranteed a trophy-less season in Paul Doswell’s first season in charge following his appointment, replacing veteran manager Dave Diaper after his 25 year spell at the club.

Doswell’s side initially progressed to the semi-finals of the Senior Cup, defeating AFC Stoneham, Hedge End Town, before narrowly defeating Hythe & Debden FC in the quarter-finals.

Disqualified from the competition, the Boatmen now turn their attention towards Southern League survival where they face a relegation battle of the ages.

Three points above the drop zone, a struggling Sholing side must up the gears ahead of a crucial race for survival, with rivals Plymouth Parkway looking to pull off a great escape having played six games less than Sholing.