Hemel Hempstead Town loanee Jamie Slabber is at the centre of controversy at the top of the National League South table after Sutton United were charged for fielding an ineligible player.
Sutton are closing in on the title after Tuesday night’s win at Maidstone United and they sit three points behind leaders Ebbsfleet with two games in hand.
However, they now face a three-point deduction after the club confirmed they have been charged by the National League for fielding Slabber in last month’s 3-0 win over St Albans.
It is alleged that the striker, who joined Sutton on loan from the Tudors, was not registered properly for his 20-minute substitute appearance.
The club, however, have not admitted the charge and have requested a personal hearing. A club statement read: “We can confirm that the club has been charged by the Vanarama National League with fielding an ineligible player in the 3-0 win at St Albans last month.
“The charge concerns the appearance of Jamie Slabber as a substitute, with the allegation that the relevant forms concerning his loan from Hemel Hempstead had not been lodged with all the relevant authorities prior to the game and he was therefore ineligible to play, although the paperwork had been submitted to the league on time and the league had approved the loan.
“Jamie came on with 20 minutes to go when U’s were already 3-0 up. The club is not admitting the charge and will request a personal hearing.”
United boss Paul Doswell added: “I was informed of the situation by Bruce after last night’s win at Maidstone and as we had to win all our remaining games anyway it makes no difference.
“The players will remain positive right to the end of the season, and having seen similar situations involving Darlington and Kendal where no points deduction was applied I am confident of the outcome.”