A CASH-strapped Northern League football club has hit out after vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage by shooting at its floodlights.

The welfare ground in Brandon, near Durham, has been targeted on a number of occasions in recent weeks, with five of its floodlights damaged by what is thought to be an air rifle.

Brandon United Football Club, which is in the Northern League Division Two and plays its home games at the ground, had to cancel one of its matches this week after the referee decided it was too dark to play.

It has left the club with a £3,500 bill to replace the lights with a more sturdy alternative.

Will Blacklock, the club's community manager, said: "Unfortunately the lights are so old we can't just replace the bulbs so it's going to cost £700 to replace each light.

"Five of them have been damaged so that's £3,500.

"We don't have the money to fix them."

He added: "It's a shame. The club is right in the middle of the village and stupid people like that are spoiling it for everyone.

"It's a bit of a downer when we are doing everything we can for the club."

A new committee took over this season and is trying to turn around the fortunes of the struggling club.

It has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to try and raise some of the cash it needs and is also planning events which it hopes will bring in some money.

Halloween parties are set to take place on October 26 and 31 while a Pink tribute nights takes place on Saturday, November 16.

Brandon was due to play Newcastle Benfield in the League Cup on Wednesday but the match was called off because the referee said the pitch was too dark in one corner.

Mr Blacklock added: "It's all money which is where we're struggling at the minute.

"To replace the lights is £3,500 out of a budget we don't have but it has to be done because we can't play midweek matches without them.

"If we cancel too many then we get fined and we don't have the money for that either."

Details of the club's upcoming events and its Go Fund Me campaign can be found on Brandon United's Facebook page.

To donated visit Go Fund Me