Vandals force AFC Blackpool to postpone match

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The year ended on a depressing note for AFC Blackpool after vandalism forced the postponement of Saturday’s home fixture against Widnes in the Hallmark Security League.

Intruders had broken down the players’ entrance to the Mechanics’ Ground overnight, leaving a trail of broken glass on leaving the premises.

Under the league’s safety regulations there was no way the first division match could go ahead.

Manager Stuart Parker explained: “Had there been any sort of emergency, such as a fire, while the players were in the dressing room they wouldn’t have been able to get out.

“I feel for the committee because this happens regularly and we can’t get the ground insured.

“A lot of Blackpool supporters are following us this season and they were fantastic, helping out with repairs.”

The postponement denied the struggling club of much-needed income from a holiday weekend fixture when no other matches were taking place on the Fylde coast.

It also prevented them building on the excellent 3-2 Boxing Day win away to second-placed Charnock Richard which lifted Blackpool nine points clear of the bottom two.

Parker added: “It’s especially frustrating after our best performance of the season. We were convincing winners over a team that beat us convincingly earlier in the season. We are building and the new players are settling in.”