Cuckoos christen new pitch with a super FA Cup win

Action from the Yaxley v Gorleston game.
Action from the Yaxley v Gorleston game.
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A spectacular late strike from substitute Deaken Napier ensured a successful start to a new era at Yaxley.

The Cuckoos claimed a 2-1 victory over Norfolk side Gorleston in an FA Cup extra preliminary round tie last Saturday – the first match to be played on the new state-of-the-art 3G surface at In2itive Park.

The installation of the synthetic pitch – carried out during seven weeks this summer - has cost close to half-a-million pounds and Napier’s dramatic winner at least ensured the first chunk was repaid as it earned the club £1,500 in prize money.

Life president Jeff Lenton said: “When I first became chairman 16 years ago, Alan Andrews said a few very wise words to me. He said that without a pitch you don’t have a football club and he is absolutely right.

“It is very rewarding to see our ambitions coming to fruition thanks to a lot of hard work from a lot of people.

“Our business plan revolves around being a self-funding club and the 3G pitch is central to that.

“It will be a significant revenue stream going forward and be of benefit not only to all Yaxley teams, but the other clubs already using it.

“It was obviously very pleasing to start with a win in the first game on it and it was quite some strike from Deakan to secure the win.

“We’re already looking forward to another home tie against Godmanchester Rovers in the next round as well.

“We have plenty of history with them in cup competitions after they beat us in the FA Cup and the Hunts Senior Cup last season, while we got one over them in an FA Vase replay.”

The latest cup showdown against Godmanchester is on Saturday, August 29. Before then Yaxley will come up against former manager Brett Whaley, who brings his Wisbech Town team to In2itive Park on Tuesday.

Whaley took over in the Fenmen hotseat on the same day he was axed as Yaxley boss after three years in charge during the summer.

Yaxley are also in home action on Saturday when Northampton side Sileby Rangers are the visitors.

Yaxley’s 3G surface is also to be used by Peterborough & District League Premier Division side AFC Stanground for matches.

Stilton United will also train on the pitch while continuing to play games on the grass pitches still available at In2itive Park.

New junior club, South Peterborough, will also use it as a base for training and matches.