Leamington boss thanks volunteers for pitching in

Chairman Jim Scott and groundsman Idris Elms join volunteers in working on the New Windmill pitch. Picture: Mike Baker

Chairman Jim Scott and groundsman Idris Elms join volunteers in working on the New Windmill pitch. Picture: Mike Baker

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Leamington manager Paul Holleran has paid tribute to the work that has gone on behind the scenes to get the New Windmill pitch playable after the FA Trophy saga with Altrincham rumbled on for another week.

Tuesday’s postponement meant the replay was rescheduled for a fourth time and drew criticism from fans of the Conference Premier side, some of whom have branded the whole saga a “shambles”.

However, Holleran was quick to defend Leamington from blame, saying every effort had been made to get the tie on, including extensive remedial work on the problem area close to the Harbury Lane End.

“It’s alright people throwing stones, but we’ve had six, seven, eight, nine, ten people there working every day on the pitch to get it right,” said Holleran, who also tweeted his support to the volunteers.

“We’ve been taking advice and I’ve sent a company up there to help out.

“We’ve put drains in to try and take the water away and there has been a massive improvement at the bottom end.”

Altrincham and Leamington were drawn together on November 30 and the much-delayed replay follows on from a postponement at Moss Lane and a 1-1 draw in which Rob Ogleby grabbed Brakes’ equaliser.

However, if Holleran had got his way, the tie would have been done and dusted long before now.

“The two things I’ve always said about the Trophy. It needs to be more regionalised in the early stages. You could be going to one end of the country for one round and the other end for the next.

“And there’s no need for replays - it’s not the FA Cup where there are big gate receipts to be had.

“We’ve been talking about making changes for a long time.

“We are asked to give our opinions but the powers that be are not taking any notice.”