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Magpies find FA Vase costly

PUBLISHED: 11:13 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:57 07 July 2010

Dereham Town's postponed FA Vase match at Larkhall Athletic at the weekend could cost the club £3,000.

The Magpies will be eager to win the re-arranged match this weekend at Bath, which would guarantee the club £1,500 in prize money.

Dereham Town's postponed FA Vase match at Larkhall Athletic at the weekend could cost the club £3,000.

The Magpies will be eager to win the re-arranged match this weekend at Bath, which would guarantee the club £1,500 in prize money.

But even those winnings would only cover the costs to Dereham of the frustrating fruitless trip last weekend.

The game was called off by a local referee on Saturday at about 10am due to standing water on the Larkhall pitch.

Dereham must now get the team down to the west country and pay for overnight accommodation ahead of the re-scheduled fourth round tie.

On Monday, Aldiss Park manager Ginny Barnes - who is co-ordinating the arrangements for the rescheduled match - said: “It was disappointing all round and we have been lumbered with all the costs. It will cost the club about £3,000.”

Dereham's players and committee members were about 20 miles away staying in Swindon but were told about the postponement rather than consulted about whether it was worth waiting to see if conditions improved.

On Friday Larkhall officials said the pitch was playable, but heavy overnight rain changed the situation.

The Dereham contingent was shocked as the weather was fine in Swindon and they travelled home in bright sunshine. Dozens of supporters were about halfway to Bath when they were told the news.

Dereham's first team manager Matty Henman said after the call off: “We will need to get it out of our system and we might take out the frustration on them this week.”

The potential prize money is important and Dereham will also get a share of the takings from Saturday's game.

If Dereham win at Larkhall, they will face a trip in the fifth round to either fellow Ridgeons League Premier Division side Needham Market or AFC Fylde, who beat Lowestoft in last year's final under their previous name of Kirkham and Wesham. The two sides drew 0-0 on Saturday and will have to replay in Lancashire.

Larkhall were due to play a re-arranged league game at home last night so that could give an indication as to whether the conditions have improved. The chairman of Larkhall Athletic said the postponement was “the last thing the club wanted.” Jim McClay insisted they were equally as disappointed and there had been no chance for the game going ahead as there was water laying on the ground.

“The last thing we wanted was to put the game off. It was not in our interests for it to be off. We are having a good season and we want promotion, and the call off was one of those unfortunate things. It has happened to us before. It is this time of the year and this part of the world has been absolutely sodden out.”

McLay added: “It was not our decision. We brought in a ref and he said the pitch was unplayable. The referee was competent in calling games off and not someone in our pocket. It was playable on Friday and we were disappointed the game was off. We had terrible weather on Friday night and Saturday morning.”

“We want to have a super day. We were expecting a crowd of about 300 on Saturday and both clubs will end up losing money.

“We are struggling with our pitch. We had it flattened two-three years ago and the drainage is causing us a bit of concern, and we got caught out by the rain.”

“There was no way we could call the game off on Friday. We were in contact with Dereham on Friday and it was ok but the weather was a howler.”

Dereham lost their Tuesday night Ridgeons League Cup quarter-final 4-2 at Stanway Rovers.

The Magpies were leading 2-1 with goals from Sam Willis and Paul Atkins then missed several chances before the home side equalised.

After the break the Essex side won the tie by netting two further goals.

More FA Vase news on page three

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