SUFFOLK SENIOR CUP: Haverhill Borough's cup semi-final is abandoned

An ambulance on the pitch at Hadleigh United ahead of the game being abandoned  Picture: Russell Claydon
An ambulance on the pitch at Hadleigh United ahead of the game being abandoned Picture: Russell Claydon

Haverhill Borough will have to restart their Suffolk FA Senior Cup semi-final with Crane Sports next Saturday after two ambulances had to be called.

The tie at neutral venue Hadleigh United FC was only in the third minute when three players suffered injuries in a nasty collision.

Haverhill Borough goalkeeper Paul Walker, who has played for Northampton Town in the Football League, came out of his area and won a header, but the subsequent collision sent him flying up in the air and land heavily on his back.

Surprising, he came out of the incident with the least damage, with his left-back, Lee Hurkett, initially knocked out cold.

Crane's no.11, Lyndon Alexander-Dowson, was carried off to the changing rooms on a stretcher, but the nature of Hurkett's injuries meant he was wrapped in a blanket on the pitch with Hadleigh's groundsman and first aider, Merv Bignall helping until an ambulance arrived - in under 20 minutes.

Another ambulance arrived soon after for Alexander-Dowson, who was later heard to have suspected broken ribs as well as concussion.

With 3:45pm reached in what would have been half-time, without the players having been able to resume, it was announced the game had been abandoned and would be replayed in a week's time, at the same venue.

Supporters, who had paid £5 for an adult ticket, with concessions also available, were issued with raffle tickets for free entry to the rearranged game, while a Suffolk FA spokesman said the issues with those who had approached them to say they could not make next Saturday had 'been resolved'.

Borough manager Martin Wescott later said it had been a mutual decision between both managers and the referee to abandon the game.

He said it was an 'easy decision to make' while there had been no goals involved.

Borough did have a blank weekend next Saturday, with the team, who are just a point off too spot in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division, next in action against Diss Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Crane Sports did have a Touchline Suffolk & Ipswich League fixture scheduled for Saturday coming, but a league representative at the game was said by Suffolk FA to have given the green light for the cup semi-final to take priority.

It was estimated that a crowd of around 200 people had attended today's game at The Millfield.