Lincoln City Expelled From Cup Competition

Lincoln City have been expelled from the Lincolnshire Senior Cup after fielding an illegible player, as per a tweet from the Lincs FA.

Earlier this month, Michael Skubala’s side defeated National League North outfit Boston United 4-0, paving the way for a semi-final clash. The competition, played every year by senior clubs from across Lincolnshire, including Scunthorpe United and Grimsby, is rarely a high priority, and it was a youthful Lincoln side that beat the Pilgrims.

Today, they have been expelled from the competition, with a statement from the Lincs FA saying, “Lincolnshire Football Association were made aware of an alleged rule breach following the County Senior Cup Quarter Final fixture between Boston United FC and Lincoln City FC. Following an investigation, the Lincolnshire FA County Cup Committee have removed Lincoln City FC from the competition for breaching County Senior Cup rule 11.”

Rule 11 states, ‘any club deemed guilty of playing an illegible player shall be struck out of the competition.’ The Imps included a number of triallists, including former Spurs man Kallum Cesay and Irish pair Gbemi Arubi and Divine Izekor. Fan site The Stacey West suggests including the latter two is the issue – Cesay is a free agent and, therefore, could be registered. However, Izekor and Arubi have come over from the League of Ireland for trials and would likely need international clearance before appearing for the Imps.

Izekor made a handful of appearances for UCD last season, the same side that the Imps signed Dylan Duffy from. Jack Moylan has also just signed for Lincoln from Shelbourne, the same club Arubi made an impression for last season. However, as Ireland is in the EU and England is not, both players would have needed clearance.

The Imps have rarely taken the County Cup seriously in recent seasons despite having won it 38 times (tied with Grimsby Town). They last won it in 2013, beating Gainsborough Trinity on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Their last victory in the competition as a Football League side came in 2006/07 when Jamie Forrester bagged a winner in front of 800 supporters against Scunthorpe United.

Writer’s View

This won’t be an oversight on the club’s part – it’s sure to have been a calculated risk to have a look at a couple of young players in a competitive environment. They did well – Arubi scored in the 4-0 win, and whilst little has been heard about either Irish lads or Cesay, it will have been important for the staff at the LNER Stadium to watch the players in action.

It has come at a cost – there will be no Senior Cup win for another season. Once upon a time, the competition was held in higher regard than the FA Cup – indeed, Lincoln City were formed with a desire to win the Senior Cup, something they first achieved in 1887. However, today it is seen as little more than a chance to play a few younger players to give them a run out.


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