CHRISTCHURCH boss Ollie Cherrett insists his side have “absolutely nothing to lose” heading into tonight's re-staged FA Vase clash against Westbury United.

Despite suffering a 5-2 extra-time defeat at Meadow Lane when the teams initially met on Saturday, September 23, Priory were given a reprieve after their opposition fielded a fourth substitute against competition rules, writes DAN ROSE.

A spokesperson for the FA confirmed that Westbury had breached FA Vase rule 15, which states only three substitutes can be used.

That meant Priory received another chance to progress, this time on home soil, when they battle the Western League Division One table-toppers at Hurn Bridge this evening (Wednesday, 7.45pm).

Cherrett claimed he had informed the Westbury management staff while the game was taking place that he did not believe a fourth replacement should have been fielded.

Giving his take on the events which led to tonight’s replay, he said: “At 4-2 they made their fourth sub and I did say to their manager at the time ‘I don’t think you can do that’. I got told to mind my own business.

“I wasn’t convinced you could make four subs, with an extra one in extra-time. I questioned it with our secretary.

“We wrote a letter to the FA explaining the situation and the rest is history. We have another bite of the cherry and we are looking forward to the game.

“I could have made another sub, I had a player to come on but I didn’t. Luckily, it has come back to give us another chance.

“They beat us fair and square to a certain degree. If they hadn’t made the fourth sub, we would have had no complaints on the day.”

Goals from Jon Blake and Max Wilcock saw the visitors go 2-0 up inside 16 minutes when the sides initially met, before Priory squandered the advantage.

Asked what the reaction to the reprieve was like in the dressing room, Cherrett said: “Two weeks ago we thought we were out of the Vase for another year.

“From our point of view, we have absolutely nothing to lose.

“When you have played someone and been beaten, to get a second bite of the cherry is a great opportunity.”

Adding to the drama ahead of the clash, Priory have also been forced into a goalkeeping crisis.

“Max Frampton is out for probably another month yet after he tore his groin. Ollie King has broken his wrist, so he is out for the foreseeable future,” Cherrett explained.

“We signed Jason Collins from Wimborne on a loan period but he wasn’t signed for the first game, which means he is not available.

“We are up against it but we have Mark Smith, our goalkeeping coach, who is an experienced goalkeeper. I trust him 100 per cent and he will play in goal.”