NORTHWICH Victoria have avoided being thrown out of this season’s FA Cup despite admitting a charge they fielded an ineligible player in two previous rounds.

Instead Vics have been ordered to play again a second qualifying round tie at Hyde United, opponents they defeated 10 days ago, this Saturday.

Marine will host the victors next Tuesday.

“While it was acknowledged that the competition rules had been breached, the sub-committee’s members were satisfied with the explanation and evidence provided by Northwich Victoria,” said an FA spokesman.

“They decided to exercise their discretionary power, in accordance with the rules, not to remove the club from the competition.”

Vics were accused of not registering goalkeeper Mason Springthorpe, currently on loan from AFC Telford United, for ties against AFC Blackpool and Hyde.

They won both.

As part of their ruling, FA officials have ordered that the Tigers keep all gate receipts for this weekend’s match.

The visitors must also pay their own travel expenses.

The spokesman added: “The sub-committee could not ignore the fact that a player had featured for Northwich in the first qualifying round, and acknowledged the fact Blackpool did not have an opportunity to progress.”

As a result, Vics must forfeit £3,000 paid to them as a reward for a 4-0 win.

That money will be go to the North West Counties League outfit instead.

On Friday evening, Marine revealed they had received an e-mail from the FA informing them that a third qualifying round head-to-head with Northwich – scheduled for October 10 – had been postponed.

“To have a blank day now on Saturday is extremely disappointing but things are totally out of our hands,” said chairman Paul Leary.

“It’s a real blow to us from both a football and a financial point of view because a bigger crowd was expected on an afternoon when there are no Premier League games.”