Leamington chairman Jim Scott has defended the late postponement of this evening’s FA Trophy replay with Altrincham.
The tie fell victim to a waterlogged pitch with the announcement, made on Twitter just 45 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time, drawing angry responses from the small number of Altrincham fans who had made the trip down to Warwickshire.
“Appalling” and “a complete shambles” were just two of the reactions, with their annoyance stemming from an earlier tweet from the club which stated the “pitch is currently firm and dry thus tonights scheduled replay against @altrinchamfc goes ahead”.
However, Scott said the match was never in doubt until the rain started just after half-past four and even then there was uncertainty as to how much the pitch could cope with.
“The problem was that none of us knew how much rain it would take and how high the water table was,” said Scott, who admitted the postponement will cost the club in the region of £1,000 due to the travel expenses of both Altrincham and the match officials.
“It started raining two minutes after I arrived but to give you an idea of how firm the pitch was, we had used machinery on it all day.
“After one-and-a-half hours of rain it started to puddle up and at ten to seven when the referee called it off it was unplayable.
“Still, if it had been dry then we probably could have played it.
“However, the forecast was for it to carry on raining.”
Leamington later tweeted a picture of the pitch, saying: “Despite our efforts tonight, the pitch just couldn’t cope with the rainfall. We’re sorry for those who made the trip.”
The date for the rearranged game has been set for Tuesday January 5, which means the postponement of Brakes’ league clash at Kettering Town.