A FOOTBALL club still faces a huge bill despite groundsmen managing to repair its vandalised pitch.
North Shields’ players turned up for their Northern League Division Two game against Chester-le-Street on Wednesday night to find the holes for the goalposts filled in with cement.
And now, despite hours spent digging out the holes in time for today’s game against promotion rivals Ryhope, bosses say they feel they have no choice but to buy new free-standing nets as they fear the culprits will return in the future.
Club chairman Alan Matthews said the £1,200 cost of the new goalposts, on top of the money wasted on the abandoned midweek match, was cash the team could ill afford to lose.
“It took more than four hours to clear the post holes out. So we’re hopefully all set for Ryhope.
“But we’ll be going down to the ground extra early to make sure the vandals haven’t come back in the night.
“And even then it’s too much of a worry for the future that it might happen again, We have obligations to the Northern League and obligations to our visitors, who often have to travel miles, and it’s grossly unfair to them for us to have to call off a game for something like this.
“So we’re in touch with the FA, who are trying to secure us a new set of posts.”
As well as the cost of the new goalposts, NSFC have been left with a bill for food that was to be served to fans at the ground on Wednesday night, which subsequently had to be binned, and for a post match visit to Chirton Social Club where more food was wasted.
Mr Matthews said Northumbria Police officers had been carrying out door-to-door inquiries since the vandalism was discovered and he was hopeful that someone may yet be caught.
“The police are doing the best they can and hopefully they will find whoever did this,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, extension 69191.