Thatched tavern replied the topic: Witton Albion vs New Mills
From my times over the years as Football Secretary, organizing a pitch inspection has always been a catch 22 situation.
The main concerns are organizing a pitch inspection early enough, before the opposition set off, as you have to pay their travelling expenses once they set off (could be £400-£500 for a coach from the North-East. This can be as early as 08:30am when playing teams far off like Scarborough. It could be argued that the Scarborough game was called off too early, as by 14:30, most people felt the pitch was playable. However, by 15:30, most people were grateful it had been called off, as the weather worsened.
On Saturday, I was at the ground at 13:30, and thanks to some tremendous work by the ground staff, most people thought the pitch was just about playable, and the rain was only light. However, by the time the match referee turned up and started his pitch inspection at approx. 13:45, the heavens opened up. The referee waited to see if the weather improved, but it didn't, and so to everybody's disappointment, he called the game off for safety reasons at 14:00.
Unfortunately, when deciding on an early pitch inspection, it is one of those "dammed if you do", "dammed if you don't" type of decisions.
Mario Kempes replied the topic: Witton Albion vs New Mills
I aqua-planed all the way from Burtonwood with little hope of the game being played,we had to leave it late and i had a pint in the bar,a little chat with some club officials,went home,got changed and done a night shift in Widnes,now i do have reason to complain.
witton widow replied the topic: Witton Albion vs New Mills
It is not very often that I come on to the club website but I feel that the ground staff need to need to put forward their position on the subject of pitch inspections. Firstly we are well aware of the implications of having a match postponed for what ever reason whether it be financial or the problems it causes to the away team and our own supporters, and secondly we can only apologise to those of you who were badly inconvenienced by the late call last Saturday. Thatched Tavern has indicated the problems we face, but with regard to last week no blame should be directed at our board / management as I spoke with the match secretary on the Friday and in my opinion at that time any early inspection the following day would have resulted in the referee ruling the pitch playable.
We were both aware of the projected weather forecast for the following day but the pitch could have stood some rain and still have been playable. In actual fact the rain started a little earlier than expected, approx. 7am, but having been at the ground working from just past 8am the pitch still remained playable, all morning despite the rain. At approx. 10am we spoke to our match secretary updating her of the state of the pitch, and I understand that she advised others of the position.
All morning, with parts of the pitch covered by our frost sheets, we were able to protect areas prone to water-logging and continued to help other areas by spiking to prevent surface water. By this late time no referee would have been available for a pitch inspection and we therefore had to wait for the official match referee. On his arrival at approx. 1-30 pm the pitch conditions had deteriorated but he continued to test and appraise the problem areas for nearly half an hour during which time OUR LITTLE BAND OF HELPERS continued to take off surface water from the pitch covers. At 2pm he decided to call off the match and it was only at that time the pitch had started to accumulate surface water in certain places. This was mainly caused by a period of rain heavier than previously encountered. Our thanks go out to the referee and his officials for their time and deliberations.
Whatever the rights and wrongs were, the most significant factor was the lack of help from supporters who may have made a difference. Not all is wrong at our club and there are many positives, but continual moaning brings down our morale, so many thanks to that LITTLE BAND OF HELPERS but we look forward to seeing more of you next time.
This little rant hopefully will indicate the efforts being put in on your behalf and once again our apologies to all affected.
Windsor Exile replied the topic: Witton Albion vs New Mills
A very interesting and informative post by Witton Widow. I think it puts the facts out there as to all the various considerations and the balancing act the ground staff and match officials have. To the naked untrained eye I think some supporters think a decision is black and white. Why would Witton call a game off at 2pm unless there are some more complex factors at play. To jump on the negative bandwagon is self for filling. Negativity breads negativity. From my all be it distant on look I see a club with a hell of a lot of positives. One of the best pitches in non league and a social club becoming a go to destination in the town. Looked great from the pics last weekend. Transfer all this to the team (the hard part) and it'll come good?