NORTHWICH Victoria’s players were on the pitch when their fate for the current campaign was announced by the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League last night, Friday.

They trailed fellow promotion hopefuls Hednesford Town to Chris Clements’ second half opener when a statement was issued by league bosses confirming the club’s expulsion from the competition at the season’s end.

Followers of the visitors at Leek Town’s Harrison Park chanted ‘You’re banned from the play-offs’ to Vics players in the contest’s closing stages as the Pitmen ran out 2-1 victors.

Northwich owner Jim Rushe beckoned his team off after the final whistle to break to them – and co-management pair Martin Foyle and Alan Wright – the news in the dressing room.

Neither Foyle nor Wright wished to comment on what they had been told after staying on to talk to Rushe after the players had left, most in silence.

The team, homeless since January, will not be allowed to compete in the play-offs either despite currently sitting second in the Premier Division table.

Vics are due to host Bradford Park Avenue at Nantwich Town’s Weaver Stadium on Tuesday before completing the campaign at FC United of Manchester next weekend.

Below is a taster of what some of the players wrote on social networking site Twitter after last night’s announcement:

John Disney
“Poor from the league publishing that while the boys are playing! Fuming with everything to do with it! Feel sorry for everyone at Vics.”

Michael Clarke
“Gutted for everyone involved at @NorthwichVicsFC . Let’s finish the season off with our heads held high.”

Dominic Collins
”Gutted about the news :( shame for all the lads! Hopefully we can fight it and still play in the plays offs!”

Tom Field

David Fitzpatrick
”Really devastated for all the lads and the fans but we will keep fighting till the end...all we can do!”

Ryan Wade
“Need cheerin up! My head as gone here. Bad day 2day.”