Chesterfield manager James Rowe 'shocked' as Spireites 'forced to withdraw' from FA Trophy

Chesterfield manager James Rowe.Chesterfield manager James Rowe.
Chesterfield manager James Rowe.
Chesterfield manager James Rowe is ‘shocked’ at what has been ‘forced upon’ the Spireites after they had to bow out of the FA Trophy.

The Blues have withdrawn from this season’s competition after one of their players tested positive for coronavirus, causing last Saturday’s fifth round tie against Aldershot Town to be postponed.

FA rules state that a rescheduled match must take place within five days of the original tie. However, that is not possible with Town now isolating for 10 days.

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Chesterfield explored the possibility of fielding an under-19 team before a decision was made to forfeit the tie because the youth players have not been training for the last two months due to the pandemic.

Rowe tweeted: “The health & well-being of everyone is of far greater importance than any football game or competition. Despite our staff and I upholding the utmost integrity, I am shocked at what has been forced upon us since Saturday night. I wish @OfficialShots the very best for the next round.”

A Spireite spokesman added: “We are very disappointed that we have been forced to take the decision to withdraw from the competition.

“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.”