Neil Avery

Whitchurch Alport’s preparations for last night’s vital league clash at Alsager Town were dashed by the weather at the weekend.

The Reds were due to host second placed Litherland REMYCA but the first throes of winter which struck the region on Friday, left a blanket of snow across the Yockings Park pitch.

And more snow on Saturday morning left the playing surface perilous with about three inches of cover hampering volunteers efforts to clear it.

Local referee, Anthony Heath, visited the Black Park Road ground at 10.30am and it didn’t take many minutes for him to scupper Alport’s plans to try and stage the game.

The official was concerned for spectator safety with approach roads around Yockings treacherous, and so was left with little option but to call the game off.

Joint manager Luke Goddard – who was the first to arrive at the stadium around an hour before the referee was due to inspect – was naturally disappointed with the postponement.

He said: “It is what it is unfortunately and there’s not a lot we can do about it.

“You can see by the areas we have cleared already that the pitch can be swept free of the white stuff, and as much as I would have liked to have delayed the inspection until noon to perhaps give us a fighting chance of getting the game on, we can’t really have any complaints.

“There were some really boggy areas and the damage that would have been caused to the pitch may well have proved counter-productive in the long run.

“On top of that, to be fair we don’t even know whether or not we could’ve marked the lines, and there would have been waterlogging to contend with as well I suppose.”

Goddard was desperate to play against a promotion rival.

He added: “There was a very small chance we could have achieved a miracle and when there’s a chance – however small – then you have to go for it.

“We’re in a nice run of form and of course you want to build on that.

“We had a terrific training session on Thursday and there was a really good atmosphere amongst the lads.

“They (Remyca) had to play 120 minutes in midweek and on a heavy pitch we could have made life difficult for them. But they won’t fancy having to make a midweek trip here when it’s rescheduled and neither will Blackpool.

“It’s incredible isn’t it? We’ve had no postponements in something like 18 months and now we’ve had two called off in a fortnight.

“You just hope that the weather doesn’t intervene and leave us without a game for weeks.

“The forecast for Sunday and Monday isn’t the best and so we might face further disappointment if the pitch at Alsager is unplayable.”

n On Saturday, Alport travel to the Potteries as they face Abbey Hulton United.

United are one of only two sides to take anything away from Yockings this season.

The two sides met on August Bank Holiday Monday where a crowd of 507 saw the visitors defend resolutely to gain a point from a goalless draw.



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