It’s taken a super-human effort and the forces of Mother Nature to relent but after hell and high water, Tadcaster Albion are ready to play Boston United in the FA Cup at home on Saturday (3pm).
2inspire Park was six feet under water a week ago, but as chairman Rob Northfield hoped, the river Wharfe flood waters have disappeared and the match is on.
Only sheer graft and determination have ensured the pitch is match-ready, ground staff working on it day and night to make sure Albion didn’t miss their biggest hour.
But the effort has paid off and Albion look set to welcome a hoard of travelling Boston fans for the third round qualifying tie.
Northfield said the club are extremely grateful for all the support they have received over the last week. The Wetherby News also wanted to help Albion in their clean-up task, donating a cheque for £100 to the cause on Monday.
“The game will be fine,” said Northfield.
“The pitch is clear, a bit boggy but the guys have been working on it all week and the forecast is thankfully fine and dry for Saturday.
“Boston have put departing coach times for fans on their website so we’re good to go.
“The clubhouse is still a bit of a mess but it’s okay, and we’ve had heaters blasting out 24 hours a day to dry it out.
“A local cleaning company are going in to do the whole unit, the kitchen, bar and dressing rooms and the carpet arrives and the end of the week, so it will all be ready.
“The terraces might still be a bit grim and there’s a bit of sediment in places but on the whole, anyone coming here won’t notice any difference.”
A week on from the torrential downpour that caused flooding across the district, Northfield is just delighted to be able to say the game is on.
With structural damage to the bridge in Tadcaster being assessed at one stage, it was a worrying time for the town.
“I’m quite a positive person on the whole, but I had people ringing very worried,” said Northfield.
“At the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do .
“We basically had a fast-flowing river running past the clubhouse and until it drained away we just had to be patient.
“The power of it actually picked up our industrial roller and carried it 200 yards down the road.
“Yes, there’s still a bit of sediment in places but we’re ready.
“The team here has worked so hard, they’re very experienced with the ground so they knew exactly what needed doing and they’ve done a tremendous job and I have a lot of people to thank.
“I’m really looking forward to the game - these are the reasons you get into football.
“It’s the second biggest football competition in the world and we’re heading towards the big boys if we win.”
Children entering the gate on Saturday will receive a free chocolate bar donated by Nestle UK of York.
For more on Tadcaster Albion’s FA Cup match, turn to page 157.
Meantime, while their ground was submerged, Albion gritted their teeth and got on with domestic matters, returning under the auspices of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division away at Maltby Main on Saturday.
Manager Paul Marshall was at Bradford Park Avenue on a Boston reconaissance mission, but in a gritty encounter, Albion emerged with all three points after a 3-2 victory.
Tad’ were a goal down before Steve Jeff slammed home an 18th minute penalty.
The visitors finally took the lead in the 70th minute when Ryan Qualter found the net, only for Maltby to pull a goal back with 11 minutes to go.
However, as time was running out, Chris Kamara scored Albion’s third to ensure they claimed the spoils.
Marshall’s troops are up to ninth in the Premier Division table but with one, and in some cases, two, three and four games in hand over the teams above them.
“We took three points in a gritty performance,” said Northfield.
“I was very proud of the team.”
Tadcaster were in County Cup action on Tuesday night, away at Thackley.
That ended 2-1 to Tadcaster thanks to goals by Callum Ward and Ryan Williams.
Providing Saturday doesn’t go to a replay, Albion will host Armthorpe Welfare in the PremierDivision on Tuesday. It’s game on! Tad Albion ready to shine