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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 11:23 GMT
Brechin ejected from Scottish Cup
Scottish Cup
Brechin City have been thrown out of the Scottish Cup after fielding two ineligible players in their win over Hamilton Accies.

The Scottish FA has decided Hamilton will now progress to a fifth-round tie away to Aberdeen on Saturday.

And Brechin secretary Angus Fairlie said: "It's certainly a big blow.

"It was an oversight but a very expensive mistake. We thought we would have a big pay day against Aberdeen but still have to pay win bonuses."

Fairlie thought the club was "morally-bound" to pay the players.

"I don't think the punishment is fair for the fans or the players, who fought so hard for the victory," he said.

I feel for Brechin, but rules are rules

Hamilton manager Billy Reid

The first clash had been drawn 0-0, but Second Division Brechin battled to an extra-time 2-1 win over the First Division leaders in the replay at Glebe Park.

But Hamilton noticed that Michael Paton, on loan from Aberdeen, should not have played.

The SFA ordered a replay and fined Brechin 10,000, but the club later realised that their recent signing from St Johnstone, Willie Dyer, was also ineligible.

And, after owning up to that, the SFA threw Brechin out of the tournament.

Both men were signed after the first match between the teams and SFA rules stipulate that only players registered prior to the first game in a cup tie can feature in replays.

Accies boss Billy Reid admitted that his players had had a confusing week but is now focussing on the tie at Pittodrie.

"I feel for Brechin, but rules are rules," he said.

"We came off the Monday result and went into training on Tuesday thinking we had no game on the Saturday.

"Then we found out we were going to play Brechin on Saturday when we were out on the training pitch and now I've told the players about the new change of plan.

"It's been fluctuating in the past few days. But rules are rules and we've done nothing wrong.

"Without a doubt we're ready to go to Aberdeen, even at short notice.

"It's been a big turnaround, but we've got to look forward to it now."

Brechin City 2-1 Hamilton (aet)
28 Jan 08 |  Scottish Cups


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