BANBURY United have been removed from this season’s Oxfordshire Senior Cup after fixture clashes left them unable to fulfil their tie with Bicester Hallions.

The second-round game was scheduled and then rearranged to take place on two Saturdays late last year, but rules laid down by the Oxfordshire FA and Pitching In Southern League for their respective competitions meant no solution could be found.

Hallions have been awarded the tie and will visit Thame United in the quarter-finals, while Banbury say they are 'disappointed' and have suggested a rule change.

The second-round clash was originally set for Saturday, November 27, when the Puritans were due to face Royston Town in Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.

Southern League rules state that their games must take priority over county cups, while Senior Cup regulations say matches before the quarter-finals must be played on Saturdays.

The only exception to the rule is if the home team has floodlights or the clubs agree to switch the tie to midweek, but Hallions declined to change the venue and date, according to Banbury.

The Puritans protested the original date on the basis that regulations ‘could be interpreted to support their protest’, only for that to be rejected.

A new date of Saturday, December 18 was set, when Banbury played Biggleswade in Premier Central.

They again informed the Oxfordshire FA that they could not fulfil the fixture, with their development team also involved in the county’s Intermediate Cup.

Those players would have been ineligible to continue in that competition if they had been involved in the Senior Cup.

Oxfordshire FA have now ruled that the tie should be awarded to Hallions, with their trip to Thame taking place on a midweek date to be confirmed.

Banbury said in a statement: “Like all clubs in the county we get fantastic support and advice from the OFA on a wide range of areas to help us grow and develop the game; we are also pleased to be able to host matches in their competitions.

“However we are of course disappointed we are unable to participate in the Senior Cup this season and we have offered a suggestion on the competition rules to endeavour to ensure our participation in the future.”