WESTBURY United have issued a statement regarding their FA Vase clash with Christchurch – blaming the match officials for allowing them to use a fourth substitute.

The Western League Division One table-toppers recorded a 5-2 extra-time victory over Wessex One outfit Christchurch at their Meadow Lane headquarters seven days ago, writes NEIL PERRETT.

However, Westbury were found to have contravened FA Vase rules by exceeding the permitted number of substitutes and the tie will now be restaged – at Christchurch’s MA Hart Stadium at Hurn Bridge on Wednesday, October 11.

A spokesperson for the FA confirmed to The (Bournemouth) Daily Echo that Westbury had breached FA Vase rule 15, which states only three substitutes can be used.

But in a statement on their official website, Westbury have claimed their management team were given the green light to throw on an additional substitute in extra-time.

It appears Westbury – and the three match officials – thought the same rule applied in the FA Vase to the one which has recently been implemented in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup where an additional substitute is allowed in extra-time.

The WUFC statement read: “The reason for the replay is that during extra-time we fielded a fourth substitute after the match officials advised us that we could do so.

“This was queried on three occasions by (management team) Neil (Kirkpatrick), Luke (Smith) and Joe (Kirkpatrick) and each time they were told it was okay by the officials as they had no intention of putting on a fourth substitute until the linesman mentioned it.

“Christchurch raised this matter with the FA and, at a disciplinary hearing, they have ordered a replay.

“Whilst we are bitterly disappointed with this decision, we accept the FA’s conclusion and will make the long midweek journey to Christchurch and play again for the right to host US Portsmouth in the next round.”

The match officials were Jack Clench, Laurie Merchant and Alan Davis, although The Daily Echo has been unable to contact them for a comment.