In five months time Non-League fans will be up in arms about their teams having to play three (or even four) games a week in order to meet the ridiculous deadlines imposed by their respective masters. Some of these clubs will be paying the prize of successful cup runs whereas others are simply having to pay catch up because matches earlier in the season were cancelled far too quickly. Today was a classic case in point.
The weather forecast this week didn’t look good for Saturday, and sure enough the rain started falling late Friday night. Come Saturday morning and pitch inspections were taking place across the south-east. Lewes’s trip to Aveley to play Grays Athletic was one of the first to fall to the conditions of the pitch at 10.30am meaning I had to re-plan my day. And it wasn’t only my day ruined. The original plan was to be dropped in the throbbing metropolis of Aveley by CMF whilst she went shopping in Lakeside before she picked me up some hours, and some beers later.
Fortunately I had a back up plan, although it changed every few minutes as further games were cancelled. Yet what struck me, looking out of the windows of TBIR Towers, was the clear skies and calm forecast for the rest of the day. With four hours to kick off, how many of those pitches would be playable come 3pm? Interestingly, both Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace took decisions to delay the kick offs in their games so that conditions had improved. Why didn’t other clubs take that decision? Would it have mattered if Grays v Lewes would have kicked off at 4 or 5pm ? Surely it would have been preferable to play it today rather than now having to fit in another game somewhere in midweek when players may struggle to get time off work to travel 80-odd miles each way to play the game. As it stands, the Rooks already have four midweek games scheduled between now and Christmas, with two more possible if respective cup games end positively. Continue reading