Bo’ness contest Junior Cup ban for midfielder

Nicky Walker could still be included by boss Allan McGonigal, below
Nicky Walker could still be included by boss Allan McGonigal, below
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Bo’ness United have appealed the Scottish Junior FA’s decision to ban midfielder Nicky Walker from Saturday’s Scottish Junior Cup fourth-round against Hurlford United.

The Newtown Park club claim their player has already served a two-match suspension. Walker was given a straight red card in a Super League fixture away to Penicuik Athletic at the end of December.

The former Spartans player served the first of his two-game ban against Camelon on January 3. He sat out the following match against Broxburn, but with that game abandoned due to adverse weather, it didn’t nullify his suspension.

The Super League champions’ next scheduled fixture was the game against Junior Cup holders Hurlford on January 17, but due to the Ayrshire side’s Blair Park pitch being frozen, the game didn’t go ahead. The match has since been postponed twice. Bo’ness arranged to play Carnoustie last weekend when their game at Hurlford again didn’t go ahead and understood that Walker would be suspended for the new fixture.

Walker sat out the 1-0 win, with Bo’ness believing he would be eligible for this weekend’s match against Hurlford.

However, SJFA secretary Tom Johnston has ruled that isn’t the case and has described the match against Carnoustie as a ‘game of convenience’.

He said: “If a game of convenience does take place, then the club are advised that the player will not be allowed to play in the Scottish Cup. The club were advised of that on several occasions and they decided to take the game against Fauldhouse, which was subsequently postponed, and the game against Carnoustie. We don’t have a problem with that [Bo’ness requesting a game due to call-offs]. But, putting a game on which will use up a suspension, we then advise them of the consequences. The consequences were that Walker would miss that game and the Scottish Cup tie if it goes ahead this week.

“They requested and then subsequently accepted the game, knowing that their player would be suspended for that game and the next game.

“We are trying to achieve the integrity of the Scottish Junior Cup and ensure that players who are suspended don’t play in the Scottish Junior Cup.”

Bo’ness manager Allan McGonigal has hinted that he may still include Walker in his squad, but Johnston warned: “If they played Nicky Walker it is highly likely that they would be ejected from the cup if they go through, or if they don’t go through, then we would take alternative action against them. There are various options which we can take.”