No fans allowed at Sunderland Reserves’ semi-final

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SUNDERLAND supporters will be disappointed to hear that the semi-final of the ToteSport Cup, which pits Sunderland Reserves and Preston Reserves, will be held behind closed doors.

The two teams will meet on Wednesday, May 4, at the Academy of Light (2pm kick-off) and with the Academy not set up for competitive matches which might attract hundreds of fans, there will be no public admission.

That will be a disappointment for those who have attended Eppleton CW to see the second string outgun Scunthorpe and Hartlepool in previous rounds to reach the last four.

The game would again have been held at Eppleton, were it not for its postponement for the bad weather over winter which has thrown the fixture list into such chaos that the final of the Tote Cup will not now be held until next season!

It remains regrettable though that the semi-final of a competition will not be held in front of the club’s supporters, though media will be allowed access to report the outcome.

And the club has acknowledged that the behind closed doors nature of the game is unfortunate.

A club spokesperson told the Echo: “Unprecedented winter weather led to a large number of fixtures being postponed across the reserve league and many clubs are now having to deal with a severe fixture backlog.

“Ordinarily the Totesport Cup game would have been an evening kick-off with supporters afforded the usual access, however the afternoon time slot was the only one agreeable to both clubs in this instance.

“Naturally we regret that supporters will not be able to attend the game but the fixture had to be played as soon as practicable and this is the only solution available to us.”