VANDALS have driven over the Rew Valley football pitch for the third time since Christmas.

The pitch, at Watcombe Bottom on Whitwell Rd, Ventnor, is home to Rew Valley Youth FC, which has 125 players and many more who train there weekly.

The damage to the grounds has been a devastating blow for the team, which has suffered an expensive season so far with lots of unexpected costs and things needing replacing.

Organisers are now desperately trying to raise funds to erect fencing around the pitches, to prevent them being driven over.

Jess Cutler, youth team secretary, said: "Being repeatedly hit by vandalism is a massive blow.

"We're entirely run on donations and the children's subs, which we try to keep as low as possible as we feel sport and being part of a team or club is really important for young people. It not only keeps them fit but teaches them valuable things like respect and how to work together.

"Unfortunately, since Christmas we have been blighted by vandalism. Our pitch was driven on for the third time in so many months. The first two times the damage was caused by a car driving on it.

"We hoped to stop the problem by erecting a chain across the access lane, which seemed to work, but the latest damage was caused by a motorbike which drove through a gap in the fence. We need to enclose the whole pitch."

The team is hosting a touring club from Herefordshire for the first time soon, and is hoping the pitch will be in good enough condition.

The children are very active in the club's fundraising efforts and have recently been bag packing, taken part in sponsored events, sold raffle tickets and run stalls at community events.

A crowdfunding page is at A jumble sale has been organised for Saturday, April 14, at Ventnor Baptist Church from 2pm to 4pm. A quiz night is being held at the Mill Bay Inn on Wednesday, April 11.