Football match halted as hedgehog invades pitch

GONE are the days of foxes appearing in football stadiums at midweek games, but spare a thought for Hitchin Town and Arlesey Town, whose match last night was briefly interrupted by a hedgehog.

A hedgehog entered the field of play with around 60 minutes on the clock. Picture: TSPL

Competing in a Red Insure Cup match at Hitchin Town’s Top Field stadium, the two teams fought out an entertaining match, with the Blues beating Hitchin 6-5 on penalties, after the match ended 2-2 after regulation time.

An hour into the match, one of the linesmen was informed by the crowd that a hedgehog had entered the field of play, and attempted to retrieve it.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

He flagged to the referee to temporarily stop the match, so he could remove the spiky pitch invader to a safe location.

However, failing to notice his assistant in the torrential rain, the referee didn’t blow his whistle to stop the match, leaving the linesman to try and rescue the hedgehog himself.

The linesman attempted to grab it quickly, but hurt himself on the hedgehog’s spikes, jumping back in pain.

Finally noticing the commotion, the match official came over to see what the fuss was, and helped the assistant remove the hedgehog.

In an amusing twist, Hitchin Rugby Club are nicknamed the Hedgehogs - but it’s not thought they had anything to do with last night’s visitor.