The Berks & Bucks Cup final is now just six days away, and Reading Under 23s are no closer to finding out who their opponents will be at the showpiece.
Earlier this month, Marlow FC were disqualified from the competition for fielding an ineligible player and replaced in the final by Slough Town, who they beat in the semi-final. Marlow have since challenged this ruling, and this appeal will be considered by an independent County Football Association this week, according to an official Berks & Bucks FA statement.
One team will end up unhappy whatever the outcome, but it seems that Reading are in the clear despite appearing to break eligibility rules themselves. Ramarni Medford-Smith featured for the Royals in the semi-final against Maidenhead despite playing for Wealdstone in another county cup competition earlier this season. The issue surrounding the rule against EFL-contracted players (which Slough have allegedly broken and Reading by definition of being an EFL club certainly have) also remains unresolved and muddies the water even more.
The whole situation is quite frankly a farce, with the rules being shown up to be unclear and confusing. At this rate, there might not even be a final next Monday. If it does go ahead as planned, the location has been confirmed as Bracknell Town’s Larges Lane. Reading won there 2-0 in round two of the competition.