King's Lynn Town given FA Cup bye as Notts County withdraw after new coronavirus cases
King's Lynn Town have been handed an FA Cup bye after their scheduled weekend opponents, Notts County, were forced to pull out following confirmation of new coronavirus cases.
Four Magpies players were found to have contracted the virus ahead of their National League defeat to Maidenhead United on Saturday.
And the Meadow Lane club has this evening announced that two more players have tested positive for the infection.
As a result, the fourth qualifying round tie, which was due to take place at the Walks this Saturday, is off and Lynn will be in Monday's first round draw for the first time since 2006-7.
Notts have also postponed their next two National League fixtures.
A statement on the club's website, issued a short time ago, said: "Following consultation with the FA and National League’s medical officers, we have taken the difficult but responsible decision not to travel to King’s Lynn Town on Saturday and to temporarily halt our league campaign.
"King’s Lynn will be awarded a bye to the first round and our trips to Halifax and Aldershot will be rearranged for later in the season. We would like to thank each club for their cooperation and understanding."
A King's Lynn Town statement said they were informed of the tests this evening.
It continued: "We will now be awarded the tie and the prize money of £9,375 ahead of the first round draw on Monday.
"We wish Notts County and the players involved all the best for a speedy recovery and wish them all the best for the rest of the season."
On hearing the news, Linnets assistant manager Paul Bastock said: “Obviously we are delighted. It’s not the way we would have liked to have go through and I wouldn’t wish Covid on anybody. I hope they all have a speedy recovery and there is no serious illness.
“As for us, it is a great boost for the club to get some extra money in, obviously we have done all our prep getting ready for Saturday, because you can’t beat playing in games, but what it means is we will get the boys in Saturday and we will prepare now for Wealdstone on Tuesday evening.”
Bastock admitted there had always been an element of doubt in his mind that the tie would go ahead.
“I heard after the weekend it had gone to seven, but we still thought with their resources that they had a big enough squad that they would be able to fulfil the fixture. But it is just one of those things.
“It would have been a magnificent cup tie for us to pit our wits against them and see what they are about.”
The two clubs are next due to meet in a National League fixture at The Walks on Boxing Day.
Earlier in the evening, King's Lynn Town announced two new arrivals at the club.
The Linnets have signed central defender Danny Lupano, a 20-year-old centre-half on loan from Hull City and Leicester-based striker Kairo Mitchell, who previously played against Lynn for Coalville.