Dereham’s Norfolk Senior Cup Final Postponed
Dereham's Norfolk Senior Cup final against King's Lynn at Carrow Road scheduled for next Tuesday has been postponed.
Norwich City announced in a statement yesterday that no non-first team matches will take place at Carrow Road until after Paul Lambert's side have completed their competitive fixtures.
The decision has been taken due to the need to protect the pitch at Carrow Road from any further degradation following a freezing winter.
No new date for the final has been arranged but it is hoped it will be at Carrow Road after the season has finished in May.
A special eight-page cup final supplement is in Thursday's Dereham Times, which was printed before the announcement of the postponement was made.
More information on the revised date and other information for supporters will be posted on this site and in next week's Times.
Dereham manager Matt Henman said: 'I've got mixed emotions about the news. We have been trying to build up for the final for the last few days and have left out some players to keep them fresh so I am a little bit disappointed as we were really looking forward to it.
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'But it means Gary Starling - who scored the winning goal in the semi-final - will now be available. He would have missed the game on Tuesday as he is away. Also Adam Smith and Jay Eastoe-Smith, who would have been suspended, will be able to play. So we will probably be stronger because of it.'
Aldiss Park manager Ginny Barnes was busy contacting officials, players and fans to let them know of the call off and also had to cancel two coaches and a minibus which had been booked to take fans to the game.
With just four homes games of the regular Championship season to go the Canaries are second in the table, with a chance of securing promotion either automatically or through the play-offs.
The news affects two Norfolk FA County Cup finals and one Football Aid charity match scheduled to take place next week. Following last Sunday's Norfolk Sunday Senior Cup final between Dog House and Marlborough played at Carrow Road, UEA were due to face Reffley in the Norfolk Junior Cup final on Monday.
Dereham were scheduled to face King's Lynn Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup Final on Tuesday, the same day as a Football Aid charity match was due to be played.
Norwich City are in discussion with Norfolk County FA and Football Aid about possibly rescheduling the fixtures after the Norwich City first team has finished playing competitive games.
Chief executive David McNally said: 'We apologise to the Norfolk FA and to the clubs, players and supporters involved in these games for any inconvenience caused by this tough decision we have had to make.
'But the pitch has suffered significantly from the harsh winter and general wear and tear and is in a critical condition. As a club we are committed to doing everything we can to support our first team and serve our supporters - and this decision is about doing both of those things.
'We want to ensure we do everything possible within our power to support the first team in the vital games remaining this season.'
Norfolk FA chief executive Shaun Turner commented: 'We're obviously very disappointed that the Senior and Junior Cup finals have had to be rescheduled at short notice.
'However we understand the club's position in wanting to protect their pitch. I'm pleased to confirm the cup finals will still take place at Carrow Road, at dates to be confirmed after their first team's season has finished.
'In addition we have had very positive discussions with the club today about holding our county cup finals at Carrow Road in future seasons and some ideas we have about our work with them in the future.'