Tadcaster Albion face race against time

The scene at Tadcaster Albion on Wednesday. Picture courtesy of Ian Parker and ICE Photography York
The scene at Tadcaster Albion on Wednesday. Picture courtesy of Ian Parker and ICE Photography York

After causing the shock of the last round, Tadcaster Albion have drawn Blue Square North giants Boston United at home in the FA Cup third round qualifying.

But next weekend’s tie is now under serious threat after the river Wharfe burst its banks on Tuesday, submerging the pitch and flooding the clubhouse.

Albion chairman Rob Northfield has issued a plea for help as the club race the clock to be ready a week on Saturday.

“Talking to people who live here, it’s the worst it’s been in 50 years,” he said.

“The pitch is seven feet under water and the clubhouse, which we’ve just refurbished with a new carpet and new bar, is in a terrible state.

“I’m appealing to people to come down and help. It’s the worst flooding there has ever been here.”

Tadcaster Albion trounced Evo-Stik Leaguers Skelmersdale United 4-1 at home on Saturday, despite their underdog status, and chairman Rob Northfield is backing them to pull off another giant-killing act against Boston.

“It’s a great draw, and a great opportunity,” said Northfield.

“They’re three leagues above us , but I have to say I think we can win that.

“When we got Skelmersdale in the last round, everyone said it was a tough draw but I saw it as a great one.

“Any tie at home in the FA Cup is great, last Saturday certainly proved to be.”

Unfortunately Albion, who have suffered several floods over the years, now face another massive clear-up operation.

Tuesday’s heavy rain swelled river water levels, which not only forced the postponement of the Pickering Town game but brought water on to the pitch up to the top of the goalposts, into the carpark and clubhouse.

“ There is a lot of work to do,” said Northfield.

“I’m sure the FA Cup game will be on next Saturday but we need all the help we can get.”

A year ago Albion drew Blue Square North opposition away at FC Halifax Town, and gave them a scare before exiting 2-1 in stoppage time.

This is the furthest the club has been in the competition, but Northfield and boss Paul Marshall have FA Cup experience, which took both of them and Harrogate Railway all the way to the second round proper, for Marshall in 2002, and Northfield and Rail’s then-coach Vinnie Brockie in 2007.

Could another fairytale run be beckoning?

“Let’s welcome the challenge,” said Northfield.

“We’re in the third qualifying round, no other team from our league is in it, and any team that gets this far has got to be a quality team.

“The reason Paul’s been here before and I have at Railway is that he has the technical ability and the likeability by the players, and I think I bring communication and get everyone working together.

“It’s no coincidence that’s got us further than any team in our league. We’ll both be working hard to get the team ready for a week on Saturday.”