Sunday, January 04, 2009

Chesterfield v Droylsden FA Cup 2nd Round Controversy

Chesterfield were drawn at home to Droylsden in the 2nd round of the FA Cup. Big deal. But from what followed you could almost make a feature length movie about.

The match was played with Droylsden taking a 1-0 half time lead but then had to be abandoned due to fog. In an interview after the game the Chesterfield manager said (unsurprisingly) that the right decision had been made. I believe the Droylsden camp were less happy. Ther was a also a report of Droylsden fans racially abusng a Chesterfield player.

The match was then played again with Chesterfield taking the lead and Droylsden equalising. Then the controversy continued. Droylsden sportingly put the ball out of play while someone was injured. Chesterfield then threw it to their attacker who hit a looping pass over the keeper into the goal to make it 2-1. Droylsden then appealed, a lot but Chesterfield hadn't done anything against the laws. In the end, to avoid a riot, Droylsden were allowed to walk the ball unchallenged to score a goal themselves. This meant the tie finished 2-2 so a replay was required.

The replay took place a week later at Droylsden's Butchers Arms Ground on a Tuesday night. Chesterfield were leading 2-0 when in the 70th minute some of the floodlights went out. The game was therefore abandoned. This (unsurprisingly) didn't please the Chesterfield manager who said there was more visibility than when the original game was abandoned. The Droylsden camp felt they were on top at the time and disappointed the game was abandoned but that the officials were left with no choice.

The match was then played for a 4th time (just like the old replay days!) and Droylsden emerged 2-1 winners thanks to two goals from Sean Newton. However, the day after the game it transpired that Newton had picked up a suspension which was due to start on the day of the match. The FA confirmed this. The last time this happened, Bury were expelled from the cup and their opponents Chester granted a reprieve to face Ipswich in Round 3. Droylsden were therefore expelled and Chesterfield would (coincidentally) play Ipswich in the 3rd round of the cup.

Droylsden then appealed but they lost ending the saga exactly one month after in begun. Chesterfield went on to lose 3-0 in the 3rd round!


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