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NEW UPDATE: Fresh date fixed for Cromer Town’s potential title-clincher after soggy pitch saga

20:35 10 May 2012

Cabbell Park - too wet for tonight

Cabbell Park - too wet for tonight's potential title clincher for Cromer Town

Cromer Town’s potentially title-clinching crunch match, which was postponed tonight (Thursday) because of pitch problems has been switched to Friday May 18.

But the club says its waterlogged ground problems are not linked to an overflow hospital car park built next to the pitch.

The Crabs’ bid to keep their hands on the Anglian Combination title are on hold after the mid-week must-win match at home to Loddon was called off following a morning inspection at the Cabbell Park ground.

Tonight the league announced the clash is now due to be staged on Friday May 18 at 7.30pm, provisionally at Cromer, but that could change if the pitch is still proving a problem.

Cromer have to win to leapfrog Acle and take the Sterry Cup championship silverware.

A traditional end-of-season Lifeboat Cup charity final raising funds for the local RNLI, which was due to take place this Sunday, has now also been put off, until August 27, for the same pitch problem reasons.

Speculation was rising that the soggy pitch, which also saw Cromer switch last weekend’s home game to Holt, was due to the addition of a hard-surfaced car park at the ground - built as a temporary overspill for the hospital across the road during its £15m rebuild

But club general manager Les Frary said that had proved not to be the case - and it was just down to amount of recent rainfall proving too much for the ground, which does suffer with occasional waterlogging problems.

“We all thought it was the car park’s fault too, but we dug a trench between it and the pitch - but found the problem was the pitch - and the amount of water we have had in a short time - not the car park,” he explained.

“We have heard other properties around are suffering the same problems,” he added.

Plans are being mooted to relocate the club further back on Cabbell Park to resolve a wrangle over its lease, and action a bid by the nearby doctors’ practice to build a new surgery on the roadside section.

The pitch would then be on an even lower lying piece of ground, but Mr Frary said if such a move - which is still in the melting pot - happened, the club would insist on drainage works being installed.

Lifeboat cup chairman Derek Hinds said the long postponement of the charity final to August was unavoidable as pitches became unavailable in the summer.

“You cannot take the final out of Cromer. We are hoping the weather will be good on the bank holiday Monday and people will turn out in force,” he added.

The cup has raised £30,000 for lifeboat funds over the past 15 years.

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