Red-tape leaves Concord Rangers boss Danny Cowley livid with county's FA chiefs

Cup-tied – Danny Cowley is unhappy seven of his players will be unavailable for tonight’s key match

Cup-tied – Danny Cowley is unhappy seven of his players will be unavailable for tonight’s key match

First published in Sport by

DANNY Cowley has spoken of his frustration at having seven players cup-tied for tonight’s cup semi with Colchester – including two new recruits from Luton.

The Beachboys have just loaned in striker Zane Banton, 17, and midfielder Ian Rees, 18, from the Conference national leading Hatters.

And Concord boss Cowley says the red-tape restrictions have come at the worst time for his busy Skrill South side, who host title-chasing Eastleigh on Saturday.

Tonight’s tie was originally scheduled for February 18 but was controversially called off just 10 minutes before kick-off after the referee deemed that Concord’s pitch was unplayable.

Cowley said: “We’ve had a bit of rain again, but we are confident the game will be on.

“After what happened last time, I don’t know what sort of team they will put out tonight. The team they had that night was very strong, so we’ll see.

“But from our point of view we have to take into account we have got a tough game against Eastleigh 36 hours later. And that will have implications on who we pick for Colchester.

“We are frustrated with the FA because red tape means we have got seven players ineligible. That includes our two young players from West Ham, who would have both definitely played.”

Among those who cannot play tonight are Hammers Academy products Taylor Miles, 19, and Rob Girdlestone, 18, along with Banton and Rees, and recent recruit from Maldon, Joe Gardner.

Cowley said: “It is infuriating because we have a crazy schedule and it will take its toll, especially playing at this level.

“You can’t play four games in a week, especially with all the travelling, so we’ll just have to manage it as best we can.

“Making this final was a big objective for us and is still something we want so we’ll be doing all we can to do that.”

Cowley revealed he was close to also bringing in another striker ahead of tonight’s game – but he would once again be ineligible for tonight’s tie.

The game kick-offs at the Aspect Arena , in Thames Road, Canvey, at 7.45pm.

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