Westcott: ‘It was right decision’

ABANDONED: Lee Hurkett is taken to hospital via an ambulance
ABANDONED: Lee Hurkett is taken to hospital via an ambulance

Haverhill Borough’s Martin Westcott admitted his players were still keen to complete their Suffolk FA Senior Cup semi-final with Crane Sports on Saturday, despite the 40-minute delay which led to an abandonment.

The game was less than three minutes old when Borough ‘keeper Paul Walker came out to win a header and collided heavily with Crane Sports’ Lyndon Alexander-Dowson and his own defender Lee Hurkett, which left the latter two requiring ambulances.

It looked like the game would carry on but it was eventually announced it had been abandoned and would be re-staged on Saturday, again at Hadleigh United FC (3pm) with free entry to those who turned out for the first game.

“We had a word with the ref,” explained Boro’ boss Westcott afterwards. “The players had been stopped for a long time and when you have a player going to hospital it is not great for anyone.

“We were only a couple of minutes into the game, so there was no real effect on the game, so we can replay that.

“Lee (Hurkett) was out cold for about 30 seconds, so had obviously had quite a bang to the head and our first concern is for the player.

“There was no effect on the game for either team as it had hardly started and hadn’t settled down yet, so (abandoning it) was probably for the best really.

“I think the players all still wanted to play it but you don’t know how it would have affected them.”

Westcott is hopeful Hurkett, who in the end was released from hospital that evening, having suffered no lasting damage, will be available for selection for the rearranged game. Borough had no league fixture scheduled for the weekend, while Crane Sports’ Touchline Suffolk & Ipswich League fixture has been postponed.

A spokesman for Suffolk FA confirmed after the game: “Spectators who were here today have been issued with a raffle ticket which they will be able to gain free entry with, if they come along next Saturday.”

He said anyone who made it known they could not attend were refunded on the day.

n Borough go into Saturday on the back of home wins over March Town United (4-0 last Wednesday, Swallow x2, Robson, Bone) and Diss Town (2-0 Tuesday, Pruden, Swallow).