Bo’ness United manager Steve Kerrigan has told of the severe pain being felt at missing out on a crack at next season’s William Hill Scottish Cup.
As we reported last week, fielding the ineligible Craig Comrie in the recent Alex Jack Cup 2-1 semi-final win over Haddington Athletic meant that Bo’ness were disqualified from a final appearance against Camelon.
Had they played in and won that final, the BUs would have been just one step away from the Scottish Cup as they would have entered a ‘winner takes all’ play-off against the winners of the Alba South Challenge Cup.
But those dreams now lie in tatters, after the bungling BUs failed to notice that Comrie was barred from playing against Haddington as he had an overhanging suspension from his time with Sauchie Juniors last season.
“Missing out on the William Hill Scottish Cup adds to our disappointment and frustration,” Kerrigan told the Bo’ness Journal.
“It hurts everybody at the club, because this was the only route available for us to qualify for such a top competition.
“I feel it for the players who have worked ever so hard to get there and the supporters who have loyally come along to the matches and back us every single week in very good numbers.
“Everybody was looking forward to the final against Camelon.
“We would have approached it in a positive manner and we would have fancied putting on a good showing.
“But now that won’t be happening and we won’t get the chance to beat them or win any play-off final.
“We have done well in the senior Scottish Cup in recent times and it is a real body blow to not have the chance this season.
“It’s really hit us hard.”
Despite the hurt being felt by many around BU circles – secretary Dougie Argent has resigned from his role after his part in the blunder – Kerrigan insisted that positives can still be taken from the whole sorry episode.
He added: “We need to try and pick out what we can from this and use it in a positive manner.
“We need to get a reaction from the players in terms of: ‘This is a force against us and we need to battle against it’.
“I wouldn’t say we have been picked on by the East of Scotland League by being disqualified.
“I just think it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had it been a small club in our position.
“We weren’t given any time and we weren’t asked to attend the meeting where the decision was made. There was no appeal, so in that respect we feel a little hard done by.”