Shoreham Football Club boss Sammy Donnelly insists he and his players' will remain fully focused on the field after they were deducted six points and picked up a £2,000 fine for 'registration irregularity' earlier this week.
Mussels, who currently sit bottom of the Bostik League South Division, were charged by the league at their last meeting and the club has now been found guilty.
To cap a tough week, Shoreham suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of third-from-bottom East Grinstead Town – which now leaves them seven points adrift of place-above Ashford United and safety, although, they do have two games in hand.
It has been a tough first-ever season at Bostik League level to date for Mussels but boss Sammy Donnelly wants his squad to move on from the points deduction.
On the matter, an official league statement read: “At their last meeting the league board met with chairman of Shoreham FC (Stuart Slaney) following the club being charged with a registration irregularity.
“The club admitted the charge under Rule 6.4.1 and were therefore dealt with under Rule 6.9 having played an ineligible player.
“The board considered the matter sufficiently serious to warrant a fine of £2,000 and although the club lost both matches in which the player appeared, the club were levied six penalty points.”
With a decision now made, Mussels boss Donnelly wants it to be forgotten.
He said: “I think the penalty was a little harsh but we must move on from it.
“This is a hard enough league to get results in without being docked points.
“What’s done is done, the club, myself and the players are not pleased about it but we’ve got to put it behind us now.”
Bostik League chairman Nick Robinson feels the deduction should work as a warning to other teams.
He said: “This is a sad occasion for a club newly-promoted to step four but is a warning to all clubs to ensure that registration forms are completed correctly, and that the person signing as witness has actually seen the player sign the form.”
Fresh from learning of their points deduction and fine, Mussels welcomed third-from-bottom East Grinstead to Middle Road on Tuesday.
A positive result would have given everyone at the club a much-needed boost but Luke Tan’s first half double and efforts after the break from Ollie Gill and Jordy Mongoy helped the visitors to a 4-2 victory.
Alex Laing’s late brace proved to be just consolation strikes as Shoreham were left seven points adrift at the bottom.
Shoreham boss Donnelly, who saw his side waste numerous chances early on, thought they could have done better.
He said: “This could easily have finished 4-4. We started really well and had a number of chances before they got two quick goals.
“This was a chance to start bridging the gap between us and teams around us but we couldn’t do it.
“We’ve still got two games in hand on the two teams above us in the table, which with the points deduction, means those games in hand are going to be even more important when we come to play them.”
SHOREHAM: Broadbent; Gathern, O’Hagan, O’Niel, Whitehead; Carey, Whitemore; Packer, Laing, Herbert; Gaskin. Subs: Denyer (O’Hagan), Collyer, Goldson, Myers, Bullivant.