Larkhall defend Dereham match call off

Ian Clarke The chairman of Larkhall Athletic said the postponement against Dereham Town in the FA Vase was “the last thing the club wanted.”The Magpies are counting the cost of the call off on Saturday and the need to re-arrange the game for this weekend.

Ian Clarke

The chairman of Larkhall Athletic said the postponement against Dereham Town in the FA Vase was “the last thing the club wanted.”

The Magpies are counting the cost of the call off on Saturday and the need to re-arrange the game for this weekend.

Dereham officials were frustrated that they were staying just 20 miles from the Bath club when a local referee made the decision to postpone the game on Saturday morning and did not give any chance for the pitch to dry out later in the day.


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But Larkhall's chairman Jim McClay insisted they were equally as disappointed and there had been no chanced for the game going ahead as there was water laying on the ground.

“The last thing we wanted was to put the game off. It was not in our interests for it to be off. We are having a good season and we want promotion and the call off was one of those unfortunate things. It has happened to us before.

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“It is this time of the year and this part of the world has been absolutely sodden out.”

McLay added: “It was not our decision. We brought in a ref and he said the pitch was unplayable. The referee was competent in calling games off and not someone in our pocket.

“It was playable on Friday and we were disappointed the game was off. We had terrible weather on Friday night and Saturday morning.”

Larkhall are due to be playing a re-arranged match at their ground tonight but McLay said they would be “very fortunate” if it went ahead - and it would not be on if it caused any prejudice to the game going ahead on Saturday.

He could make no guarantees about this weekend and it very much depends on the weather over the next few days.

“We want to have a super day. We were expecting a crowd of about 300 on Saturday and both clubs will end up losing money. We are struggling with our pitch. We had it flattened two-three years ago and the drainage is causing us a bit of concern and we got caught out by the rain.”

“There was no way we could call the game off on Friday. We were in contact with Dereham on Friday and it was ok but the weather was a howler.”

If Dereham win at Larkhall, they will face a trip in the fifth round to either fellow Ridgeons League premier division side Needham Market or AFC Fylde, who beat Lowestoft in last year's final under their previous name of Kirkham and Wesham. The two sides drew 0-0 on Saturday and will have to replay in Lancashire.

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