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Dover Athletic confirm they have been kicked out of this season’s Kent Senior Cup after playing ineligible defender Nico Jones in 4-0 win at Beckenham Town

Dover have confirmed they have been kicked out of this season’s Kent Senior Cup after they fielded an ineligible player in their win at Beckenham.

The National League South basement boys progressed to the Quarter-Final of the competition with a 4-0 victory at Isthmian South East Beckenham earlier this month.

Dover manager Jake Leberl – his side have been “dismissed” from the Kent Senior Cup after playing ineligible young defender Nico Jones. Picture: Randolph File
Dover manager Jake Leberl – his side have been “dismissed” from the Kent Senior Cup after playing ineligible young defender Nico Jones. Picture: Randolph File

But it has since come to light that defender Nico Jones had - seemingly unknowingly - already played in the Kent Senior Cup this term for Welling United in a 7-1 defeat to Sevenoaks in November and therefore should not have played for Dover in the competition.

Ironically, 22-year-old Jones was sent off for a second bookable offence at Beckenham.

Whites had been in contact with the Kent FA about the situation but confirmed ahead of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Chippenham they have “been dismissed from the competition” with Beckenham reinstated.

A statement read: “Dover Athletic can confirm that, due to fielding an ineligible player (Jones) in the Kent Senior Cup Second-Round match on February 6, we have been dismissed from the competition and Beckenham Town have been reinstated.

“Prior to the game, the player in question informed our management team that he had never played in the Kent Senior Cup.

“He also disclosed that he had never signed for Welling, which was evident as this was not present on his registration form.

“After the game, the player had no knowledge of playing in the Kent Senior Cup and thought he had only played in a ‘friendly’ for Welling. The player's agent was also unaware that the player had played in the competition.

“At no point did the management team have any idea of his involvement for Welling or playing in KSC prior to the game. The management team had no reason to check as the last club on his registration form was Brentford who do not take part in the competition.

“We are very disappointed and would like to apologise to our fans that this has happened.”

Speaking about the situation, manager Jake Leberl previously had said: “Unfortunately, we had an incident where one of the lads (Jones) played in the competition for Welling.

“When we signed him, he put down on the form his previous club as Brentford.

“Unfortunately, it looks like we will be expelled from the competition.

“We were not aware he had played in the competition already - he thought it was a friendly and his agent wasn’t aware. What more can you do?

“That’s the situation with where the club is at this season, having had so many players.

“It’s a shame.”

Two-goal striker Destiny Oladipo got on the scoresheet for Dover at Beckenham, alongside Jaheim Whyte and Kai Neil-Gray.

But it’s Beckenham who will progress to visit National League Ebbsfleet in the Quarter-Finals.

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