FOOTBALL teams have been left outraged after their pitch was ruined by fire for the fourth time in six months.

A set of tyres was set ablaze, reportedly by youngsters, at Bromley Cross Football Club's pitch off Crompton Way on Thursday night.

The incident has left a huge scorch mark on the pitch and has prevented youngsters from using it.

Paul Barton is manager of Bromley Cross Scorpions under 13s and he said it was the fourth time a fire has been lit at the pitch, which is used twice a week by three teams from two separate clubs.

He said: "The pitch was mowed and marked at 6pm Thursday ready for Saturday's match. Mindless youths have set fire to tyres which have been fly-tipped on the opposite side of the lane.

"This is now the fourth fire this season and it is ruining the pitch."

Mr Barton said the first incident happened just before Christmas and all home fixtures had to be transferred to the away grounds just to enable the children to play.

And he said the latest incident could have implications for the last game of the season, which was due to be played today, and also the future of the two teams that play there.

Bromley Cross Football Club has two teams, under-13s and under-14s, and Bromley Cross Warriors has one team that plays at the ground.

Mr Barton said they first noticed the fire when footage was posted on Instagram at around 8.30pm on that night.

He said: "Obviously we take a bit of pride in our pitch and we are absolutely gutted.

"At the beginning of the season we got the pitch in great condition. It was meant to play on regularly and now it just has brown marks all over it.

"We are getting to the point where we might have to start looking at a new venue. We can not be putting up with this.

"It is just so frustrating and it is just mindless. It's young children doing it."

The pitch is used by the teams on Wednesdays for training and Saturday's for matches.

The incident has been reported to the police.

Anybody who has any information on what happened should call officers on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.