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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Needham boss Wilkins frustrated by lack of communication in Weymouth call-off

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 December 2018

Groundstaff and roller are at the ready, but the standing water by the touchline is clear evidence of why Saturday's FA Trophy tie at Weymouth was postponed. Needham have since withdrawn from the competition, Picture: CARL MARSTON

Groundstaff and roller are at the ready, but the standing water by the touchline is clear evidence of why Saturday's FA Trophy tie at Weymouth was postponed. Needham have since withdrawn from the competition, Picture: CARL MARSTON

Archant

Needham Market manager, Richard Wilkins, was left frustrated by Saturday's postponement of his side's FA Trophy first round tie at Weymouth.

The wet and depressing scene at Weymouth FC's Bob Lucas Stadium, 90 minutes before the sceduled kick-off against Needham Market. Picture: CARL MARSTONThe wet and depressing scene at Weymouth FC's Bob Lucas Stadium, 90 minutes before the sceduled kick-off against Needham Market. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Wilkins was not disputing the decision to call it off – the pitch at the Bob Lucas Stadium was waterlogged and there was no prospect of the heavy rain easing during the afternoon – but he was unhappy with the lack of communication, and also the lateness of the final decision.

The Marketmen had done superbly to reach this stage of the national competition, after negotiating away ties at King’s Langley, Herne Bay and Royston Town (replay needed), and were looking forward to a stern test on the Dorset coast against an in-form Weymouth side.

But the two teams will now have to try again, with the fixture having initially been rearranged for tomorrow evening (7.45pm).

“We’re still in the hat, but not the way that we wanted it to be,” admitted Wilkins.

“We had a feeling this morning (Saturday) that it might be off. We had heard the forecast and there had been heavy, heavy rain over the past two days, especially from four o’clock this morning, which was due to go on until six tonight.

“The communication has not been as good as it could have been, and therefore we turned up today and thought – ‘this ain’t going to be played!’

“The referee waited an hour. He had an initial inspection but then said we will leave it until 2pm, so the people (ground-staff) continued working very hard on the pitch clearing one area, while the area they had just done was filling up with water again.

“The pitch was waterlogged and they could probably have told us that at about midday, which is frustrating.

“The referee basically got the managers to call it off, because he said we can leave it, but I said the forecast is for heavy rain all day.

“We just wanted to get back on the coach and go home, because there was no way we could have played.

“There was standing water all along the sidelines. That’s what it was like when we turned up, and it was still the case an hour later.

“So the decision was pretty straightforward, although the ref didn’t seem to want to make it.

“Sometimes it comes down to a little bit of common sense. Its just a catalogue of circumstances beyond our control.”

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