‘It’s a big shame’ – Morsley on FA Cup postponement due to Covid-19 positive test

AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley felt “gutted” after learning of the postponement of tonight’s scheduled FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at Burton Park Wanderers, due to a home player testing positive for Covid-19, even though his side have consequently progressed into the next round. Likewise, Walsham le Willows have also been forced to withdraw from the FA Cup, for the same reason. ahead of tonight’s match at Newmarket Town.

AFC Sudbury (yellow shirts) in action last season, against Soham Town Rangers. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

AFC Sudbury (yellow shirts) in action last season, against Soham Town Rangers. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

Northamptonshire-based Burton Park Wanderers, ready to make their debut in the FA Cup, were relishing the prospect of welcoming both AFC Sudbury and the BBC TV cameras to their Latimer Park ground at Burton Latimar. They play in the United Counties League Division One, at step six level.

The match was to be screened live on the BBC sports website, and also the red button, but instead it has been called off with AFC Sudbury awarded the tie.

“So much work had gone towards putting on this match, so we are all gutted,” admitted Morsley.

“I felt very flat when I heard the news. It’s not the way we would have wanted to progress into the next round of the FA Cup, that’s for sure.

“It’s a big shame for Burton Park Wanderers, and a big shame for all of us. We had done our homework on the opposition, and had scouts go and watch them, while seven of our intended starting XI tonight were going to be products of our current Academy.

“It was going to be a massive occasion, for the clubs, the players and the fans, and it’s a particularly big blow for Burton Park Wanderers, because this would have been their first time in the FA Cup.

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“Unfortunately, the new rules state that if a game does not go ahead because of a positive Covid-19 test, then the other team progresses. It’s a tough one, but then we don’t make the rules.

“In the past, the BBC have gone on follow the winners into the next round, but we don’t know what will be happening this season, and whether a decision has yet been made,” added Morsley.

AFC Sudbury will be at home in the preliminary round, against either Wellingborough Whitworth or Harborough Town on Saturday, September 12.

Morsley’s men complete their friendly campaign with a match at Needham Market this Saturday, while their Isthmian League North programme begins with a home match against Coggeshall Town on September 19.

Walsham le Willows announced that they have had to withdraw from the FA Cup at lunchtime, due to one of their squad testing positive for Covid-19 on Bank Holiday Monday. The player in question has shown no symptoms, but had recently returned from a holiday in Zante.

Newmarket Town therefore progress through to the next round.

Meanwhile, Ten-man WHITTON UNITED won a seven-goal thriller against IPSWICH WANDERERS in tonight’s FA Cup tie.

George Mrozek squeezed home a 25th minute opener for Wanderers, and the hosts then had Liam Wales sent off for a late challenge on Josh Foulkes (33).

However, a sweet brace from Ollie Dunlop, via a 36th minute header and a superb shot-on-the-turn (43) had Whitton 2-1 up at half-time.

Leggett equalised on 55 minutes, only for 16-year-old Mydas Smalls to restore Whitton’s lead.

Daniel Thrower’s 75th minute penalty levelled it at 3-3, only for Tom Bradlaugh’s speculative shot from long range to win it for Whitton with 10 minutes left.

STOWMARKET TOWN rallied from 1-0 down to beat Rothwell Corinthians 2-1 in another FA Cup extra-preliminary round tie. Jamie Shaw (41) equalised just 60 seconds after Bobowiaz had given the visitors the lead, and summer signing Craig Parker then won it for Stow with a 69th minute free-kick.

LONG MELFORD won 3-2 against Northampton On Chenecks, and there was an exciting 4-3 win for MILDENHALL TOWN away at HADLEIGH UNITED. But there was disappointment for WOODBRIDGE TOWN, who conceded a late goal to draw 2-2 at home to Biggleswade United, before losing the penalty shoot-out 7-6.