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Football club forced to cancel game after cars churn up pitch

PUBLISHED: 18:31 13 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:57 14 January 2019

The damage caused to Cromer Town FC's pitch. Photo: Jenna Bedwell

The damage caused to Cromer Town FC's pitch. Photo: Jenna Bedwell

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A North Norfolk football club had to cancel its weekend game after cars churned up its pitch on New Year’s Day.

Cabbell Park, the home of Cromer Town Football Club. Picture: Ian BurtCabbell Park, the home of Cromer Town Football Club. Picture: Ian Burt

Drivers were incorrectly told they could park on Cromer Town FC’s home ground to watch the firework display on January 1.

It resulted in significant damage to the club’s pitch at Mill Road, forcing it to cancel its match against Caister FC Reserves on Saturday (January 12).

Club chairwoman Jenna Bedwell said: “It [the pitch] was bad. It looked like a car had got stuck and a tractor had tried to pull it out.

“When I went down there my first thought was ‘oh god look at it’, I thought we would be out for most of the season.”

How the pitch looked after the tyre ruts were filled-in. Photo: Jenna BedwellHow the pitch looked after the tyre ruts were filled-in. Photo: Jenna Bedwell

Photographs of Cabbell Park show deep, muddy tyre marks stretching out from the side lines towards the pitch’s half-way line.

Miss Bedwell said she was only made aware of the damage when she went to inspect the ground last Friday (January 4) following reports of vandalism to the admissions hut.

Someone had got inside the hut and scrawled the words “weed is life” on the wall before smashing bottles and throwing paint around.

After seeing the state of the pitch Miss Bedwell contacted the Anglian Combination League, which advised for Saturday’s game to be postponed.

She said while the club knew its ground was included in parking plans for the firework display, it was unaware the pitch would be used.

“We think someone may have got a bit pressured and let the cars onto the pitch,” Miss Bedwell said.

She added that Norse, which is owned by Norfolk County Council, had since removed some of the mud from the pitch and filled in the ruts from car tyres.

Miss Bedwell hoped the pitch would be ready in time for Cromer’s next home fixture against Hingham Athletic on January 26.

Both teams play in Division Two of the Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination league.

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