Chesterfield have confirmed their withdrawal from this season’s FA Trophy.

Saturday’s game with Aldershot Town was postponed after the Spireites had a player report COVID symptoms, with a positive test subsequently following. The National League side’s next three league matches have been postponed, with players and staff isolating.

The club cite a rescheduled tie needing to be played within five days under FA rules, and add that the possibility of fielding an Under-19 team was considered before deciding to forfeit the tie.

A statement from a club spokesperson explained: “We are very disappointed that we have been forced to take the decision to withdraw from the competition when we were potentially just two games away from an appearance at Wembley. We feel that we were forced into a corner and were left with no option other than to give up the chance of progressing in the competition and we have made our feelings known to The FA.

“Fielding an Under-19 team would not have been the correct option for the development of those players, considering they haven’t been training in the last two months due to the pandemic. Ultimately, while we are very disappointed with the outcome, the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.”

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