Wal change in league clash
Story by: MARK BERRY WHEN FC Walpole turned up for a cup match on Saturday they hardly expected to be involved in a crucial league match. But, thanks to an amazing turn of events, that is exactly what happened. The team turned up for their scheduled Norf
Story by: MARK BERRY
WHEN FC Walpole turned up for a cup match on Saturday they hardly expected to be involved in a crucial league match.
But, thanks to an amazing turn of events, that is exactly what happened.
The team turned up for their scheduled Norfolk County Primary Cup home match at Walpole St Andrew hoping for a win that would progress them to the quarter-finals.
But just one hour before the 1.45pm kick-off, they received a telephone call from hapless opponents University of East Anglia, who had travelled to Lowestoft by mistake.
However, just as the FC Walpole players prepared to make the early journey home, they were given an unexpected opportunity to play a match after all.
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Northwest Norfolk League Division Four rivals Queensway Royals, from King's Lynn, unaware that their league match had been rearranged to make way for Walpole's cup clash, arrived at the ground expecting to play at 2.15pm.
With UEA three counties and 80 miles away, Walpole and Royals decided to go ahead with their impromptu match, and a late goal from Sam Frankham earned Walpole an unexpected, but vital, 1-0 victory that lifted them away from the bottom of the league.
Walpole player Tom Jackson said: "Club secretary Mark Norris had given the UEA team clear directions to our pitch the day before the match and he told them to head towards King's Lynn and Sutton Bridge.
"When we received a call saying they were waiting for us in Lowestoft we couldn't believe it. It was obvious that they would not be able to make it to the game and so I began to take my kit back to the car."
He added: "Just as we were getting ready to leave, car-loads of Royals players began to turn up expecting to play a league game.
"We thought we might as well play and, as it turned out, it was lucky we did."
The Norfolk FA have allowed UEA to rearrange the cup fixture for a future date - a decision that has angered the Walpole players.
And there was more bad news: The match left their pitch in such a bad state that Walpole are desperately seeking the use of another pitch before their next home game on January 20.