RAINWORTH MWFC were left count ing the cost of a security alert which caused the postponement of their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League match against Loughborough Dynamo.
Players, officials and supporters of both sides arrived at the Kirklington Road ground to find access denied by local police, after a telephoned warning received by the Miners’ Welfare club, which was also closed for much of the afternoon as a result of the same call.
Police carried out a search of the ground, and found nothing untoward, but attending officers advised that no-one should be allowed into the ground until after the planned 3pm kick off, and a provisional re-scheduled kick-off time of 3.45pm was agreed.
But with continuing advice that the safety of players and spectators could not be guaranteed, the match was reluctantly called off by the referee just after 3pm.
As with all home games, club officials had been at the ground all morning preparing for the match, and the club had gone to the wasted expense of printing programmes and buying in food for the tea bar and hospitality rooms.
Miners’ Welfare Social Club trustee Bill Musson said: “We had a phone call saying it was all going to kick off and that if we let the football match go ahead there would be a terrorist attack.”
Football club secretary Les Lee added: “We’ve spent all day getting ready for the game and it’s just disappointing for the staff and also for Loughborough who have had a wasted journey.
“It was almost certainly a hoax but you have to take these things seriously. I would like to know who and what was behind this.”
Also hit by the security alert was the Sherwood Inn further along Kirklington Road, which also had to close its doors, and it is understood that part of Kirklington Road in the vicinity of the Sherwood was cordoned off for a time.
Police are currently investigating to try to find the identity of the caller.