BANBURY United have been deducted four points for fielding an ineligible player.

The Football Association (FA) ruling is in relation to an “administrative error” concerning the loan of Ravi Shamsi from Maidenhead United in August.

In a statement on the Puritans’ website, the Premier Division Central side said the player’s registration was lodged and accepted by the Southern League.

However, a copy of the form did not arrive at the FA until August 16 – during which time Shamsi had played in Banbury’s 1-1 draw at Rushall Olympic and 2-1 win over Halesowen Town.

The deduction leaves Mike Ford's side nine points adrift of the play-offs.

Banbury were charged by both the FA and Southern League, with the latter ruling in November that the points won in those games should be deducted.

The Puritans appealed the decision to the FA, saying the punishment was “excessive for an administrative oversight and that the club did not have a fair hearing”.

A hearing took place on January 14 and the FA agreed with the latter argument, but it was ruled the four-point deduction should still apply.

Banbury have declared their frustration, but say a lesson has been learnt.

A club statement reads: “The board are obviously very disappointed that this should have occurred and checks were not made prior to Ravi playing.

“Since the takeover by the Community Benefit Society and in recent years our football administration, had, until now, remained at this highest level.

“It is easy but remains true to say, the club is run by a number of volunteers who give their time freely and occasionally, as in all walks of professional and voluntary work, errors will be made.

“However, whatever we think of the harshness of the penalty, it is a lesson to ensure we do not let anything similar happen in the future.”

Shamsi, who scored five goals in 11 appearances during his two-month loan spell, is still at the club having rejoined on the same deal in November.