HALEWOOD Town boss Paul James has insisted that Ray Putterill would never have knowingly flouted an FA suspension after describing the incident that threatens Accrington Stanley’s place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as ‘a massive misunderstanding’.

Putterill and Stanley have both been charged by the FA after the 21-year-old appeared and scored in the Reds’ Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Tranmere last week – even though he was due to start a suspension with the Liverpool County FA a day earlier.

Putterill received an initial 35-day ban after being accused of swearing at the referee after a Liverpool County Premier League match for Halewood Town in April. The suspension was increased by seven days, to October 10, after an appeal failed.

But James, who also acts as Halewood’s honorary secretary, was involved with the appeal rather than Putterill because the player was away at the time.

The midfielder has told Stanley he was oblivious to the fact he had been banned, and James believes there has been a communication mix-up.

He said: “Ray’s a nice lad. He came in about October and played about 15 or 20 games. He wouldn’t do anything maliciously, like playing when suspended. I’m sure this was just a massive understanding.

“We didn’t think he was guilty anyway.

“We appealed and the opposition manager also submitted a letter saying he didn’t hear Ray say anything.”