Royal Wootton Bassett Town were eliminated from the Floodlit Cup after a 2-1 defeat against Woodley United in their re-arranged second round tie.
Despite reaching the quarter finals, Royal Wootton Bassett Town were dumped out of the Floodlit Cup at the second round stage following a 2-1 defeat against Woodley United.
Having originally defeated Sandhurst Town and Lydney Town in the competition's second and third rounds, Rich Hunter's side were expecting to prepare for a trip to Bicester Town in the last eight.
However, as a result of what can only be described as an administrative farce, Bassett were forced to go back two rounds and play Woodley instead. And Reading-based side would end any hopes Bassett had of fighting for silverware this year.
To compound matters, the home side were reduced to ten men early on as 'keeper Curtis Meare was sent off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
His replacement, 16-year-old Conor Chivers, acquitted himself well on his first team debut, the Wiltshire Under 18s shotstopper making one particularly fine save.
However, he could do little to deny Charlie Little's 32nd minute opener and Jake Nicholls' 52nd minute free kick.
Captain Matt Cheetham did equalise for Bassett in first half stoppage time. Yet, his team failed to create much else, disadvantaged as they were by playing shorthanded for the majority of the game.
How the game got to be played in the first place was ridiculous though.
Originally Woodley had defeated Sandhurst in the opening round - a game played back in early September. They were then deemed by the Hellenic League to have fielded an ineligible player, and so Sandhurst were re-instated.
As was their right, Woodley - who Bassett narrowly defeated in the Supplementary Cup two weeks ago - appealed that decision. The wheels of FA bureaucracy obviously had not been oiled though, as it was not until January when their appeal hearing was held with Woodley winning the case.
In the intervening period no further games impacted by the appeal should have been played given that their participants were going to be affected by its outcome.
Instead, the league allowed them to go ahead, with Bassett thumping Sandhurst 5-1 and edging out Lydney 2-0 after extra time.
Into the quarter finals they marched with a great opportunity to book a place in the final four of the Floodlit competition for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Not so fast.
Woodley should be wished the best of luck for the remainder of the Floodlit Cup, as they have been wronged in this situation too.
Nonetheless, it's an episode that the Bassett players and management can rightly feel aggrieved about, and one which the Hellenic League should look back on with no feelings other than that of shame.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 8th February 2017 at 22:41