Needham Market hit out at Bury Town Premier Cup final blast

NEEDHAM Market have hit out after being accused by their Suffolk Premier Cup final opponents Bury Town of staying too rigid to the final date.

The eagerly awaited match is due to be played at Portman Road on Friday April 15 with Bury having a league game at Cray Wanderers the following Sunday afternoon starting at 3pm.

Bury chairman Russell Ward has suggested that his manager Richard Wilkins will play a ‘youth’ team at Portman Road with their priority promotion to the Blue Square Premier South – and the Cray game.

“I can’t blame Richard Wilkins if he fields a team of fringe players at Portman Road,” said Ward. “And it’s important that our fans that will be travelling to the game are aware of this.

“I’m deeply disappointed in Needham’s response to a call to switch the date.”

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And Wilkins said: “It stinks to be honest. Needham will benefit from playing on April 15 and this sort of thing burns bridges.”

But Needham are adamant they have done nothing wrong particularly with Ipswich Town understandably allowing Suffolk FA little leeway in when their pitch will be available.

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Needham chairman David Bugg responded: “It is felt appropriate for us to respond to provide clarification for the benefit of supporters of our club and the wider non league football community.

“It is the case that notification of the scheduled date for the Suffolk FA Premier Cup final was notified to each of the clubs who were to participate at the semi final stage of the competition, prior to the completion of those fixtures.

“Following the success of both Bury Town and Needham Market in reaching the final of this most prestigious competition, our club made the necessary arrangements with the Ryman League to cause the rearrangement of league fixture(s) as required.

“Furthermore, certain match day arrangements were put in place in respect of travel, hospitality and the like.

“At no point thereafter was there any direct contact made to Needham Market by any official of Bury Town.

“Needham Market was contacted by Suffolk FA with the offer to play the match on an alternative date, but after due consideration and having regard to all the circumstances, this offer was declined.”

There is cup final action on Monday when the Suffolk Senior Cup will be won when Whitton United from the Ridgeons League take on Lakenheath from Kershaw Cambridgeshire League with a 7pm start.

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