10:40am Thursday 27th March 2014
HALESOWEN Town boss John Hill thinks title rivals Leek have been handed an unfair advantage after league officials decided against hitting them with a points penalty.
Leek were charged with fielding an ineligible player in their Northern Premier League Division One South contest against Eastwood Town in November .
Instead of having three points deducted for the offence they were only hit with a £100 fine.
Eastwood have since resigned from the league - a move that resulted in their 2013/14 record being expunged, including the three points Leek earned against them in their November win.
However, all teams that took points from Eastwood this campaign have also had those points taken away.
Because of this, Hill thinks Leek should have lost six points in the circumstances.
He said: "I don't blame Leek, it's just not the best move from the league. I think they can consider themselves very lucky to have only lost three points. If they had fielded an ineligible player against anyone else but Eastwood they would have lost six. It is very conceivable that they could win the league by just two points."
A statement on the matter issued by the league said that according to rule 6.9, any points gained from a fixture where a team fields an ineligible player should be removed from their record, but that the deduction of points gained was match specific.
Away from the controversy, Hill says he still has his sights firmly set on securing a play-off place this season rather than title glory.
The Yeltz are currently top of the table even though both Leek and Coalville have games in hand.
"The aim this season was always to finish in the play-offs, that hasn't changed. Anything after that will be a very big bonus," he added.
A win against this weekend's opponents at The Grove, sixth-placed Scarborough Athletic, would guarantee a play-off finish.
Hill said: "Once that play-off spot is secure, we can go forwards knowing that we have achieved our goal and that the pressure is off."
Halesowen continued their promotion push with a hard-fought 3-0 away victory against Market Drayton last weekend.
A brace from Aaron Griffiths and another goal from hot-shot Ben Haseley continued The Yeltz's fine campaign.
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