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Lydd Town's Ryan Smith cleared to resume playing after FA hearing

By Alex Hoad

Ryan Smith has been cleared to play again after the Kent FA threw out his misconduct case.

The decision followed a rapid chain of events which initially resulted in the county FA suspending the Lydd Town defender after viewing pictures of his challenge on Ashford United’s Ollie Finch in the Kent Invicta League Boxing Day derby at Homelands.

A disciplinary commission viewed a United video of the incident last Wednesday night and immediately cleared him.

He played in the 5-2 home defeat against Sutton Athletic on Saturday, where he was one of three Lydd players to score own goals.

Lydd secretary Bruce Marchant said: "Things did move quickly. The Kent FA received the DVD on Wednesday, the commission was due to meet the same evening, and decided Ryan had no case to answer.

"The club are pleased about the outcome and glad that common sense prevailed.

"Ryan is relieved it’s all over, saying it was an accident and there was no malice about it. We now want to put it behind us and move on."

United had originally forwarded photographs of the incident which wasn’t seen by the match referee.

Club chairman Ernie Warren said: "The Kent FA are the arbiters of fairness and we accept the decision. We only commented on the pictures we received and obviously a still photo can deceive people.

"I hope this doesn’t affect our relationship with Lydd. They are a lovely club and I have no problem with anybody there."

Kent FA chief executive Paul Dolan said: "The player was suspended after being charged with assaulting a participant and cases like this are always heard as quickly as possible. A three-man commission, who had been due to meet on Wednesday, viewed the video and made their decision."

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