SWANAGE Town & Herston will face Gillingham Town reserves in the final of the Dorset Premier League Cup after Holt United's appeal against fielding an ineligible player was dismissed.

League officials were forced to delay the final at the 11th hour when Holt protested after being thrown out of the competition following their 2-0 victory over Swans in the semi-final on April 1.

Although not confirmed, the player at the centre of the dispute was believed to have been Martin Smith, who was dual registered by champions Holt from Wessex League outfit Verwood Town.

It is understood the timing of Smith's signing prompted Swans to raise the matter with the Dorset Premier League, with the Bulls removed following a full investigation last month.

The semi-final was twice postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Swans’ Day’s Park and subsequently staged at Holt’s Petersham Lane headquarters.

However, just days before the final had been due to take place on April 26, the Dorset Premier League issued a statement confirming the appeal and adding Holt had produced "additional communication" which was "separate to correspondence already received by the league".

But at a Dorset County FA hearing on Monday, their protest fell on deaf ears.

Swans will meet the Gills in the showpiece at Weymouth’s Bob Lucas Stadium on Saturday (1.30pm).