Elms thanks volunteers for helping to get the Altrincham game on

Idris Elms supervises work on the New Windmill pitch last week.
Idris Elms supervises work on the New Windmill pitch last week.

Groundsman Idris Elms has paid tribute to the loyal band of Leamington volunteers who helped make Saturday’s game possible.

The FA trophy tie with Altrincham finally passed an inspection at the sixth time of asking after drainage problems had left the pitch struggling to cope with a prolonged spell of rain.

Major repairs had to be carried out to get the surface platable, including putting in new drainage channels.

However, waterlogging was not the only problem, with a frost the night before the game necessitating the use of covers to protect large swathes of the pitch, which then had to be removed on match day.

“I want to thank everyone that came up and helped,” said Elms.

“A fair few came up over the fortnight.

“There was 15 days of solid work. After the Stratford game was cancelled on January 2 there were people here every day up to last Friday.”

Despite the surface playing host to a thrilling cup tie, Elms said little praise for the standard of the pitch came his way, not that he expected it.

“They never do. You only ever get moans and groans. You never get any compliments.”

However, he did have some kind words to say about the pitch himself.

“Standing here now you wouldn’t think they had played on it on Saturday. It’s looking good.”