Bulls’ postponed cup final unlikely to ever be played

AFC Mansfield action as Phil Buxton congratulates goalscorer Ollie Fearon.
AFC Mansfield action as Phil Buxton congratulates goalscorer Ollie Fearon.

It now looks almost certain that AFC Mansfield’s postponed Northern Counties East League Cup final against Liversedge at Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane will never take place.

The match was postponed tonight while West Riding County FA investigate allegations that Liversedge played a player while under a County FA suspension.

But with no update from the league, players heading off on holiday, and AFC about to move up to the Evo-Stick Northern Premier League, it’s almost impossible to see how it can be played.

“Due to some irregularity with a player playing for Liversedge it was postponed and I don’t think it will now happen,” said Bulls chairman Andy Saunders.

“Unfortunately I think it will now be one of those games that gets lost forever.

“I don’t see how it can happen. From 16th June we will no longer be members of the Northern Counties East League. We will be members of the Northern Premier League. You can’t play a game when you’re not a member of that league.

“There is also the problem of having lads on holiday - and do they want to be playing football in June? They will have other things on their mind won’t they?

“It’s disappointing as the lads were looking forward to playing on a Football League ground. It’s just down to circumstances.”

He added: “The league need to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the future.

“The problem was we started the League Cup third round too late.

“It started in January and the weather was awful after that.

“There are also a lot of clubs at this level of football that don’t do enough on their pitches.

“They don’t spend enough money on them. At Forest Town we spent about £4,000 last season. At our level of football that’s a lot of money.

“But some of them just cut the grass, don’t bother seeding it, don’t put any fertiliser on it. Then when it comes to postponing games, if there is a bit of water on the pitch they’ll get a referee in and call it off.

“We worked at it this year and we had about four games when we could have possibly called it off.

“But four or five of us went in with forks and all sorts of things to get the water off the pitch and we got games on. You could argue to a certain extent that it may have backfired on us a little bit with what happened in the league.”