A Southampton youth football team could see their games cancelled for a month after vandals rode through their pitch.

Around 150 children already had their matches called off after bikers left muddy tracks on Sholing Football Club’s ground.

Volunteers discovered circular track marks left by motorbikes on the ‘top pitch’ – the club’s youth pitch next to the main stadium – on Sunday morning, forcing the cancellation of three youth matches.

The club hopes matches can resume at the weekend but the extent of the damage and bad weather mean it could be a month before that happens.

Claire Paine, Sholing FC commercial director, told the Echo: “Emotionally it’s not great, the whole situation is very disheartening.

“It’s had a massive effect on the teams – we don’t know when they will be able to play again – it could be next week, or we could be looking at not playing for a month.

“We’ll have to fill the holes in the grass back up and roller the pitch, it’s very time consuming and entirely run by volunteers.

“The club’s academy also train there and they don’t know when they’ll next be able to do that or even where.”

The non-league club has 45 volunteers entirely dedicated to its youth section, with a further 20 volunteers assisting the main team.

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A total of 300 children use the pitch with the club being plagued by vandals damaging the surface and surrounding area "once or twice a year".

Claire said: “I’ve been involved with the club for 25 years; we’ve had a youth section since 2010 and unfortunately something happens every year.

“We used to report it to the police but unless it’s criminal damage or you’ve seen someone in the act, they’re not interested.”

She added: “The actions of a few selfish people have a negative effect on the rest of us.

“The pitch backs out onto a farm and people walk there dogs around it, so I’d feel bad closing it off.

“We don’t really have a budget to build a fence or have CCTV in operation up there, it would be great to have it but it’s just too expensive.”