Heart of Midlothian docked two League Cup points & fined after fielding ineligible player

Andy Irving in action for Heart of Midlothian
Andy Irving's Hearts contract had not been registered correctly when he played against Cove Rangers

Heart of Midlothian have been docked two points and fined £10,000 by the Scottish Professional Football League after fielding an ineligible player in their League Cup win over Cove Rangers.

Last week's match at Balmoral Stadium, home of the Highland League outfit, ended in a 2-1 Hearts victory.

But the contract of Andrew Irving, 19, who came on in the 65th minute, had not been registered correctly.

Of the £10,000 fine, £8,000 has been suspended until the end of next season.

The penalty leaves Hearts with three points from their two group stage fixtures.

Tynecastle manager Craig Levein said last week the Premiership club would "accept and deal with" any sanctions arising from Irving's non-registration.

Hearts failed to reach the knockout rounds of last year's League Cup, spelling the end for Levein's predecessor, Ian Cathro.

They are now three points adrift of Group C leaders Inverness and Cowdenbeath, both of whom they will meet in their two remaining matches.

They earned two points courtesy of Saturday's penalty shootout win over Raith Rovers.

The eight group winners and four best-placed runners-up qualify for the last 16, where they will join Scotland's European representatives Celtic, Aberdeen, Rangers and Hibernian.

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