Nuneaton lose points - but what about the goals?

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Non League football down the years has been littered with clubs who have had points docked for one misdemeanour or other.

Nuneaton Town are the latest to suffer, having had six taken away for fielding an ineligible player.

And that was a boost to Halifax Town’s bid to secure a Blue Square Bet North play off place as the deduction, which kicks in on April 11, means the Shaymen are three points better off than the Midlanders.

It is always tempting as a fan of a rival club to mock the afflicted.

But the circumstances of this one are strange as the player in question, Andy Brown, was already at Nuneaton on loan from Telford.

The problem occurred during the attempt to extend the loan with procedures not correctly followed and the points deduction was inevitable.

Brown played in games against Colwyn Bay and Halifax Town, during which time Nuneaton improved their goal difference by an impressive eight goals.

And the swing against the Shaymen was 11 in total as the game between the sides at the Shay ended 3-0 to the visitors.

I know Nuneaton have been punished in accordance with the rules, but the goal difference advantage gained in those two games is the equivalent of a point and the race to finish in the top five is very close.

I am pretty sure that the goals for and against columns of all three sides involved will remain unaltered - and Brown even scored at the Shay.

There is something of an irony in Nuneaton moving out of the top five.

They were in the play offs last season despite finishing sixth in the table when it was decided that Eastwood’s ground was not up to Blue Square Bet Premier standard.

Eastwood are the first team this season to be relegated from Blue Square Bet North.

Nuneaton will be hoping that this time next year, history, as far as teams hit by a punishment nothing to do with what happens on the field of play, does not repeat itself.

There has probably been a TV programme or DVD release called goalkeepers do the strangest things.

Pepe Reina added his name to the list when he led with his head in a confrontation with Newcastle’s James Perch.

His actions left the referee no option but to produce red, no matter how little contact there was.

And the Spaniard will now miss three matches, including the FA Cup semi final at Wembley against derby rivals Everton.

Madness.