Chesterfield 'forced into a corner' to withdraw from FA Trophy

Chesterfield say they are ‘disappointed’ and feel they were ‘forced into a corner’ after withdrawing from the 2020/2021 FA Trophy.
Chesterfield have withdraw from this season's FA Trophy.Chesterfield have withdraw from this season's FA Trophy.
Chesterfield have withdraw from this season's FA Trophy.

The Spireites’ fifth round tie at Aldershot Town on Saturday was called off one hour before kick-off after it emerged an unnamed Blues player had developed Covid-19 symptoms.

The club confirmed on Sunday that the player had tested positive.

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With players and management team now isolating for 10 days, Town have taken the decision to bow out of the competition.

Under FA rules, a rescheduled tie has to be played within five days of the original fixture and the possibility of playing an under-19 team was considered before the decision was made to forfeit the tie.

A club spokesman said: “We are very disappointed that we have been forced to take the decision to withdraw from the competition when we were potentially just two games away from an appearance at Wembley.

“We feel that we were forced into a corner and were left with no option other than to give up the chance of progressing in the competition and we have made our feelings known to the FA.

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“Fielding an under-19 team would not have been the correct option for the development of those players, considering they haven’t been training in the last two months due to the pandemic.

“Ultimately, while we are very disappointed with the outcome, the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.”

Chesterfield would have played National League North side Hereford at home in the quarter-finals had they beaten Aldershot.

Exiting the cup means the Blues miss out on pocketing £6,000 in prize money, which they would have received had they beaten Aldershot.

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Chesterfield’s next three league fixtures have been postponed and, as it stands, their next match will be away to Notts County on Saturday, February 20 in the National League.

League games against Aldershot away and Eastleigh and FC Halifax Town will have to be rearranged.

The players will be able to begin training again early next week in preparation for the Notts clash at Meadow Lane.

It is the third time Chesterfield have had to isolate since December.