Ben Cowling believes his Haverhill Rovers side have been on the receiving end of some excessive punishment at the hands of the Thurlow Nunn League.
The Premier Division outfit have been docked the three points they earned at Wivenhoe Town on October 29, and have also been ordered to replay the fixture at Broad Lane, which has been rescheduled for March 8.
It centres around winger Mason Newman, who joined Rovers from Ely City and went on to make his debut against Fakenham on October 22.
League rules state that a scanned copy of the transfer documents will initially permit a player to turn out for his new club, but a hard copy must also be received within five days.
According to the authorities, the scanned paperwork was received sufficiently — allowing Newman to feature against Fakenham — but the official documents took 10 days to arrive, meaning that the winger was ineligible for the Wivenhoe game.
Haverhill, though, believe they have grounds for appeal and are currently in the process of merging together all of the facts.
“Firstly, we completed the transfer in the correct manner,” said Cowling.
“Mason was registered properly, it is what happened after that where the issue is.
“We are now investigating the time trail and so not much can be said, but we believe the punishment to be quite excessive.”
On the pitch, Rovers head to league leaders Mildenhall Town on Saturday (3pm).
When the two sides met earlier in the season, it seemed that Cowling’s men were going to cling on to a 1-1 draw until Mildenhall substitute Dan Brown struck the winning goal deep into stoppage time.
Rovers spent much of that encounter on the back foot and Cowling has conceded it is likely to be a similar scenario at Recreation Way.
“Mildenhall and Stanway are the two outstanding sides in the league — they are head and shoulders above the rest,” he added.
“It is going to be a big challenge for our boys, but there is nothing to lose and hopefully we will put on a good show.
“Mildenhall are in great form, they have a good manager and good strength in depth.
“If one player is not performing well for them, then they have top options on the bench to replace him.
“But we also have goals in our team. If we can play on the break and use our assets well, then we will hopefully cause them problems.”
Ex-Cambridge United scholar Justin Leavers will be a part of the Haverhill squad for the Mildenhall clash after he signed on last week.
The 18-year-old striker, who has also played for Histon, made one appearance for Mildenhall’s reserves this season.
n On Wednesday, Rovers travel to Walsham-le-Willows in the last 16 of the League Challenge Cup (7.45pm).