Harborough Town's title hopes are hit as they suffer six-point loss​​

Luca Miller is congratulated after scoring his goal in Saturday's 5-0 win over AFC Quorn (Picture: Phil Passingham)Luca Miller is congratulated after scoring his goal in Saturday's 5-0 win over AFC Quorn (Picture: Phil Passingham)
Luca Miller is congratulated after scoring his goal in Saturday's 5-0 win over AFC Quorn (Picture: Phil Passingham)
​Harborough Town have been left reeling after being handed a six-point deduction that has all but derailed their Pitching-In Northern Premier League Midlands Division title chances.

​The Bees have been hit hard after they were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player in two matches in January, both of which they won, against Gresley Rovers and Bedworth.

Connor Kennedy played in the matches despite being suspended.

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That 'clerical error' has come back to bite Mitch Austin and his players, who have gone from being two points clear at the top to third place, four points adrift of new leaders Spalding United with just two matches of the season remaining.

It is a body blow for the Bees and it now looks likely if they are to achieve promotion, they will have to do it via the play-offs.

The club released a statement on Sunday confirming the deduction, that read: "Harborough Town FC can confirm that following our league fixtures on Saturday 27th January 2024 versus Gresley Rovers FC and Saturday 3rd February 2024 versus Bedworth United FC, The FA charged the football club for fielding an ineligible player in a league fixture.

"The club recently received a fine from the FA and a further sanction of a one game suspension for the involved player, which has already been served, along with the initial two-game suspension, which has also since been served… the football club fully assisted the FA in their enquiries, and fully accept their findings.

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"The FA charges have been passed on to The Northern Premier League and the club has since been charged by The NPL under rule 6.9 – playing of an ineligible player… the league has deducted six points from the club’s record with immediate effect, as well as also imposing a further fine."

"Harborough Town FC would like to sincerely apologise to the players, the manager, and the management team… we would also like to sincerely apologise to our fantastic supporters, and everyone connected with the football club for this clerical error.”

Harborough thought they had maintained their lead at the top last weekend when they were 5-0 winners over AFC Quorn on Saturday thanks to goals from Luis Rose (2), Alex Morris, Luca Miller and Tendai Daire.

The Bees travel to Sutton Coldfield on Saturday.