Paulsgrove FC hit out at ‘mind-numbing’ vandalism that forces them to postpone cup tie with Harvest due to player safety issues

Paulsgrove have been forced to postpone their L4 Teamwear Challenge Cup clash with Harvest tomorrow because of 'mindless vandalism' to their pitch.

By Lewis Mason
Friday, 16th April 2021, 3:57 pm
Vandalism in one of the goalmouths at Paulsgrove's home pitch
Vandalism in one of the goalmouths at Paulsgrove's home pitch

Grove took the decision to reluctantly call off the scheduled group 7 meeting due to safety concerns.

Vandals set fire to the grass around one of the goalmouths on the pitch at Paulsgrove Recreation Ground and broken glass has been scattered across the playing surface.

Grove boss Wayne Grant revealed clearing up 'mess' at the ground is a common occurrence, though this is the first time the club have had to postpone a fixture because of it.

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However, with Portsmouth City Council unable to confirm they could undertake a 'sweep' of the pitch prior to Harvest’s visit, they had to take the unprecedented action.

Grant is growing tired of the constant vandalism.

He said: 'We’ve been having quite a bit of removal work on the team room and things like that, so there’s been a skip delivered in the car park.

‘From what we can make out, they’ve taken a load of wood from the skip and decided to light a fire and set fire to the goal at one end.

‘They’ve set fire to it and there’s broken bottles on the pitch and in the dugouts.

'The amount of effort that goes in ... I get to the Grove at 9.20am every Saturday for a 3pm kick-off because we never ever know what we’re going to find.

‘Some weeks it’s fine and you can grab a coffee and watch some of the youth games.

'But other weeks, we’re having to pick up bottles and dog mess - it’s just absolutely mind-numbing.

‘It’s absolutely mindless vandalism and just annoying. This is the first time we’ve had to call a game off because of it.

'The council have repaired the goals today but they’re not going to be able to do a full sweep of the area in time for the game tomorrow.'

grove's spirits were high as they prepared for their third group 7 fixture.

Top scorers Danny Lane and Zak Willett both struck twice as Grant's side made it two wins from two with a thumping 4-1 win over Clanfield at Westleigh Park last night.

The group meeting with Hampshire Premier League Division One Harvest has now been rearranged for Wednesday, April 28.

Grove's next fixture in the Challenge Cup sees them travel to face Denmead at Front Lawn next Tuesday (8.15pm).