FOOTBALLERS using a pitch in York are being faced with a de-fence-ive headache – after workmen built a barrier through their goal.

A new £6,000 steel structure has been installed along the side of land used for kickabouts next to the play area on Stray Road in Heworth, but it runs straight through some goalposts.

The posts now stand either side of the fence and City of York Council has apologised for the “own goal”.

One parent who uses the play area, who did not want to be named, said: “The fence cutting through the goalpost looks ridiculous, and the first thing you think when you see it is that it’s a joke or somebody must have had a bad day at the office. It’s difficult to see why it’s been done that way and I hope it’s sorted out soon, because it must be a disappointment for children using the playing field.”

Heworth Without Parish Council, which is responsible for the play area, has secured £43,000 of funding through the city council via the Playbuilder scheme and this will be used to improve and modernise play facilities in the park. The goalposts are to be moved so they stand in a different direction.

Dave Meigh, the city council’s head of parks and open spaces, said: “The new fencing was installed, at a cost of about £6,000, ahead of the £37,000 investment in new equipment, which is due in the next few weeks.

“We recognise that failure to relocate the goalposts is a real own goal and we have asked the contractors to resolve the issue as a matter of urgency. We can only apologise for the error.”

Parish council clerk Malcolm Sunderland said the new fence would create space for the play area to be extended.

He said: “The goalposts are to be moved the other way round from their current position so we can have a better play area.

“It is not a problem, but we are just waiting for this to be done. We are meeting the contractors this week about the installation of the new equipment, which will include things like wire and rope facilities.

“This equipment is what local people have chosen and it should be a welcome addition for the children who play there.”