LOCAL FOOTBALL: Big blow for Needingworth United as first team is forced to fold

Needingworth United pictured during last season. Picture: SUBMITTED

Needingworth United pictured during last season. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Needingworth United have pulled their first team out of the Cambridgeshire County League on the eve of the new season.

Brett Swales' side earned promotion to the Kershaw Senior A Division for the 2019/20 campaign, but the boss admits they were eventually left with no alternative other than to fold.

Needingworth had been due to host Whittlesford United in their first game of the new season tomorrow night, Wednesday.

The club will continue to operate one team in Division 4B where their reserves had been due to play.

"It is a really big decision that we never wanted to have to make," Swales told the Hunts Post.

"But after losing 11 players to other clubs or work commitments, we didn't really have any other route left open to us.

"Myself, the chairman (Pat Cox) and the rest of the board have decided that, with the strength of the players left at the club, we re better off dropping back down and rebuilding.

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"Everyone at the club is gutted, but we will work tirelessly to be make sure our one team is now successful and able to move in the right direction."

The new Cambridgeshire County League season kicks-off tonight (Tuesday) for a host of local clubs.

Eaton Socon host Cherry Hinton and Eynesbury United entertain Comberton in the Kershaw Premier Division.

The latter match is raising money for The Sick Children's Trust in honour of club supporter Ricky Taylor's daughter, Indie, who is currently poorly.

Both teams are contributing to the cause with supporters' asked to make a donation upon entry to Hall Road for the 7.45pm kick-off.

Hemingfords United are on the road at Chatteris for their curtain-raiser in the top-flight while there's a derby clash in Kershaw Senior A Division at Somersham Town where Huntingdon United, who are under new manager Tom Moran, are the visitors.

St Neots Reserves, who received a reprieve from relegation, then open their Premier Division campaign against Linton Granta tomorrow night.

Bluntisham Rangers and AFC Barley Mow meet in a local derby of Kershaw Senior A Division newcomers while Eaton Socon Reserves (away to Bassingbourn) and St Ives Rangers (who go to Wisbech St Mary Reserves) start in Kershaw Senior B Division.