Frickley upset at cancellation of cup final

Frickley Athletic. Chairman Gareth Dando welcomes new Academy coach Allan Howcroft.
Frickley Athletic. Chairman Gareth Dando welcomes new Academy coach Allan Howcroft.

Frickley Athletic have been left disappointed that the showpiece final they were geared up to playing in to round off their season was postponed at late notice.

The Blues were due to face Shaw Lane Aquaforce in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup final at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night, but found out on Monday that their opponents had pulled out of the competition because of their involvement in Evo-Stik League play-offs.

Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA were left with no option but to cancel their showpiece final and there are no plans to stage it on a later date, nor has a decision been taken yet as to whether Frickley will be awarded the trophy on a walkover.

The matter is set to be discussed at an FA Board meeting, with a punishment likely for Shaw Lane, who are believed to be the first team to have withdrawn from the final.

Frickley have been left unhappy at the loss of their end of season celebration game.

Chairman Gareth Dando said: “On behalf of Frickley Athletic I’m incredibly disappointed by the decision of the chairman of Shaw Lane Aquaforce to withdraw them from the Sheffield Senior Cup final less than 36 hours before the game was due to kick-off.

“I feel very sorry for both sets of players and supporters who I know were looking forward to the game, which would have been a great way to end a wonderful season.

“In my view the decision to withdraw is disrespectful to the supporters and players as well as to the competition itself.

“Over 30 clubs take part in the fourth oldest cup competition in the world. All those clubs who enter know the rules, which in our view should be applied in the same way to all clubs, regardless of what some clubs may wish.

“We’ve played four games to get this far and the reward for all that effort is to have what would have been a great occasion taken away from us when we have played by the rules and done nothing wrong.

“All teams were aware of the scheduled date of the final well before the semi-finals were played. At that time there was an outside chance we could have reached the play-offs but we did not request that the date of the final be moved.

“Last week Shaw Lane proposed playing their play-off and the cup final on consecutive nights so I’m puzzled why they’ve now said to the Sheffield FA that they’re not willing to play twice in two days. If we’d have been in their position we would have played regardless of how we felt about that schedule.

“Mr Wood obviously feels differently and now it’s up to the Sheffield FA and the Football Association to decide what the consequences will be of his decision.”