HANWORTH VILLA are dismayed at being thrown out of the Anagram Records Trophy for the second successive season.
Last term, Villa reached the semi-finals before it was discovered they had fielded a suspended player in a 1-0 win over eventual winners Takeley in an earlier round.
And following last week's 2-0 second round win over 61FC (Luton), it was found that Villa are ineligible for this season's competition because they are ranked too highly after winning promotion.
A close-season change in the rules means the cup is only open to teams in step six or below of non-league football who are not in the FA Vase.
Following last season's promotion from Combined Counties League Division One to the Premier, Villa are now a step five club.
Secretary Dave Brown said: "It's annoying as we were invited to enter the cup. It was obvious which level we play at, and we didn't have a copy of the rule book at the time.
"There's not a lot we can do, but it's frustrating - not least because we had to pay three match officials and had three players booked in the second round game, and the bookings will still stand."
However, on the bright side, the Villains are starting to find their feet at their highest-ever level of football.
Goals from Lee Higgs and Steve
Loveridge saw them hold Banstead Athletic 2-2 on Saturday, and if not for glaring misses by Higgs, Gary Jenkins and Danny Lovett, would have won comfortably.
Brown added: "We're starting to find our confidence now and should do enough to stay in this league and push on next season. It's important we stay up."
The Villains, who are now four points and three places off the drop zone, travel to Colliers Wood United, who are just one place above them, tomorrow (Saturday). * Meanwhile, in Combined Counties League Division One, Darren Buzzard's winner gave CB Hounslow United only their second league victory of the season, win
ning 1-0 at Chobham. The success moved them above Feltham, who went down 4-1 at Knaphill. Feltham visit Sheerwater tomorrow while CB host bottom side Coulsdon United, who Bedfont Sports beat 1-0.
Jay Coombs and Adam Turner netted for Sports, who host Cobham tomorrow.