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Horsford chief reveals club debt issues as first team suffers 32-0 defeat

PUBLISHED: 16:16 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:16 12 February 2018

The club's home pitch is to the rear of Horsford Village Hall. Photo: Google

The club's home pitch is to the rear of Horsford Village Hall. Photo: Google

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The chairman of Norfolk's worst-performing football club has vowed to keep his side going despite rising debts and low player numbers.

Horsford United is firmly at the bottom of the Anglian Combination Division Two this season having conceded 153 goals in 17 league games.

On Saturday, the first team suffered its worst defeat so far, losing 32-0 against Wells Town.

Manager Jordan Kemp said the flood gates opened after two players refused to go back on the pitch at half-time.

A week earlier, Horsford lost 21-0 at home to Wells, and 14-0 against Acle United Reserves at the end of January. The team has scored 12 goals so far this season, and is yet to win a league game.

Chairman Gary Matthewson said part of the problem has been due to historic debts and a lack of committed players. While he is hopeful the club will continue, he said it would depend on whether it could fulfil its future fixtures.

Matthewson, who has been chairman for around six years, said: “I have never seen it this bad. The players just aren’t strong enough and we are barely getting 11 or 12 turn up on Saturdays.

“The other problem is that we can’t afford to keep cancelling games because we get fined £50, so we have to field a team, even if it’s eight players.”

He said the club first ran into financial difficulty three years ago due to unpaid pitch fees at Hellesdon High School.

It is now around £1,000 in debt, with money still owed to the school, and around £200 owed to the league due to cancelled games.

Matthewson said a lack of committed players had also caused issues.

In 2016/17 the first team dropped to division three, but a new manager helped secure promotion to division two this season. However, he left eight games into the 2017/18 season due to a lack of regular players. The club’s reserve side also folded this season. “I’m hoping it [the club] will continue,” Matthewson said. “A lot depends on whether we can fulfil all fixtures. If we can, then I am sure we can rebuild for next season.”

Kemp, who has been manager since November, said around four players were turning up to training each week. “At the moment we don’t have the players or the commitment,” he added.

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