Jimmy came close to resigning

IPSWICH Athletic manager Jimmy Marjoram today revealed that he came close to calling it a day after his club were charged with fielding two ineligible players in their Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup win over Ransomes.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Athletic manager Jimmy Marjoram today revealed that he came close to calling it a day after his club were charged with fielding two ineligible players in their Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup win over Ransomes.

Fellow Metaltec SIL side Ransomes Sports have been reinstated and will now entertain Debenham Leisure Centre in the quarter-final on January 6. At the start of the season, Athletic were deducted three Senior Division points after an administration problem led to Danny Taylor being deemed ineligible.

And Jason Evans and Matthew Bowers were not registered in time to meet Suffolk FA rules before the game against Ransomes.

“I was gutted,” said Marjoram, who has been with Athletic for 20 seasons and first-team manager for 12 years.

“I decided to resign as it appeared that everything was folding in around us.

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“Danny Taylor has been with us nine years but his sheet went missing, while we thought we were doing the right thing in playing Jason and Matthew against Ransomes.

“But I was talked into staying, as I felt there was a danger the future of Ipswich Athletic would be in danger if I had jumped ship. Thankfully, my players have remained loyal.

“We have had seven-day approaches for a number from Ridgeons League clubs but they have stayed with us and will continue to pay weekly subscriptions rather than move on and get paid for playing.”

Evans' transfer was faxed to the SIL on the Monday before the Ransomes cup-tie and Bowers' was faxed the following day. Both were checked on Thursday to see that they had been accepted by the league.

“But county cup rules say that there has to be three clear days, which is different to SIL rules,” said Marjoram.

“Rules are rules, and we have no bad feeling towards Ransomes, although we do play them in the Omnico Cup tomorrow week and will now be even keener to progress.

“We need to beat Leiston St Margarets tomorrow to stay out of the bottom two in the league, and then hope to move up the table.

“But I had a feeling that this was going to be a good season for us in the Senior Cup, having reached the final in 2001 and the semi-final the previous year.”

Martin Head, secretary of the Suffolk FA, said: “The county competitions committee met this week and decided that Ipswich Athletic should be expelled from the Senior Cup.

“The committee decided that two players were ineligible because they were not registered with their league three clear days before the match as the county rule demands.

“Three clear days does not include the day they are registered or the day of the match, in other words a player must be registered on Tuesday to play on Saturday.”

Ransomes now compete in the quarter-finals without winning a game. After receiving a bye in the first round, they 'lost' 3-1 to Athletic on November 25.

Tomorrow, Ransomes entertain bottom-placed Cockfield at Sidegate Avenue, while leaders Haughley visit Westerfield and second-placed Grundisburgh have a tough clash at Brantham.

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