Non-league Droylsden failed Wednesday with an appeal against their expulsion from the FA Cup after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player during their bizarre tie with Chesterfield.
As a result fourth-tier Chesterfield will be away to Ipswich Town, who play in the Championship, the division below the elite Premier League, in the third round on Saturday.
Last week, Droylsden thought they had won their second-round tie against League Two Chesterfield, two divisions above them, at the fourth time of asking after fog, a controversial goal and floodlight failure had foiled three previous attempts to separate the sides.
But it turned out that defender Sean Newton, who scored both their goals in a 2-1 win, was ineligible after collecting his fifth booking of the season on December 9.
According to Football Association (FA) regulations, that meant he was suspended for one match, a ban which should have ruled him out of last Tuesday's fixture.
Droylsden were thrown out by an FA Cup protest sub-committee on Monday, a decision upheld by Wednesday's appeal hearing.
A statement issued by the English governing body Wednesday said: “The FA can confirm that today's appeal by Droylsden FC against their removal from this season's FA Cup was unsuccessful.”
Chesterfield manager Lee Richardson admitted a “lifeline” had been thrown to his side.
“We were devastated to be out of the FA Cup but now we can take this as a bonus and can go there and enjoy the day,” he said.
“We have got to see it is a lifeline.
“The tie has been something of a saga but the FA have had the final word and the rules are clear-cut – you cannot field an ineligible player.
“Their man should have been suspended. If he had not played and scored those goals, the result could have been completely different. If the rules were not followed, the game would be in chaos.”
An unusual climax was in keeping with the rest of an extraordinary tie.
The original encounter was abandoned at half-time for fog with Droylsden leading 1-0.
But that was as nothing compared to the events 12 minutes from time in the second encounter at Chesterfield's Saltergate ground.
That game was all square at 1-1 in the 78th minute when Manchester-based Droylsden put the ball into touch deliberately following an injury to Chesterfield's Carl Lamb.
But, after Lamb recovered, the ball was thrown to Jack Lester who, instead of just passing back to the Droylsden goalkeeper as is the convention in such circumstances, lobbed Craig Mawson for a goal.
Rival players squared up to one another and stewards had to intervene to prevent a touchline confrontation between the two benches.
However, when the game resumed, Chesterfield, seemingly embarrassed by Lester's goal, allowed Droylsden's Steve Halford to run through unopposed from the kick-off to make it 2-2, which is how the match ended.
And the next attempt at settling the tie also failed to produce a winner when a match at Droylsden's ground was abandoned when, with Chesterfield leading 2-0 and under 20 minutes left to play, the floodlights went out.
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