FOOTBALL: It wasn’t really in the script to arrive back at The Walks at 11pm on Monday with a playing kit as clean as when we had left town some 10 hours earlier.
Firstly it would have been closer to 1am and the kit should have contained a fair amount of Worcestershire mud following the deluge of the past few days.
However, that deluge prevented us from even getting the kit out of the travel trunk because the Linnets game against Gloucester City at Evesham fell foul of heavy rain that had fallen in the area for, it seems, a fair part of the day prior to our arrival.
I won’t go into the rights and wrongs of what did and didn’t happen, but it’s pretty clear that there appears to have been a big breakdown in communication between the landlords Evesham, the tenants Gloucester and the evening’s guests – us.
To be allowed to travel about 140 miles without any indication there was a problem until there was a problem cannot be right.
And before I’m reminded of it, yes, a similar situation occurred at The Walks last season when Alvechurch arrived, only for the pitch to be deemed unplayable because of a five-foot-square area that was frozen.
It appears to me the area of pitch inspections is a grey one with many factors that are maybe, not always, implemented in the correct way or, shall I say, a sensible way.
A fixture cannot be called off by a club. It has to be done by either a qualified official or the match official themselves.
At our level, varying factors of availability have to be factored in, including time.
It’s there where the problem starts.
I assume the match official would have been at work on Monday and unable to get to the ground much ahead of when he did and, if that was 6pm, there lies the problem.
In my opinion there needs to be a cut-off point, say midday for a midweek game and 8am for a Saturday when a decision has to, indeed must, be made as to whether a game can go ahead.
If there is any doubt, even at that early hour, the game has to be called off to save the inconvenience that we suffered on Monday.
I think also that the use of weather forecasts and apps should be used more and considered more than maybe they are at present.
I have a basic app on my phone, complete with a weather radar, which clearly showed on Monday that heavy showers were moving across the area towards our destination.
Designated club personnel with the power to call off a game may also be an idea, or even an independent person responsible for an area of the country to be called upon.
These are just a few ideas but something does needs to be done to tidy up an area of our game that needs attention.
Weather permitting, we have a busy spell of games coming up with visits to promotion rivals Chester and Altrincham, following tomorrow’s encounter with Bradford (Park Avenue)