Weather is the winner as Alport's Goddard fears falling behind

Reporter:

Neil Avery

THE WEATHER intervened on Saturday to frustrate Alport, whose game was the only one of 11 matches in the First Division not to go ahead.

Bacup Borough’s ground just cannot cope with any type of adverse weather and having had two matches there postponed last season, it was very much a case of déjà vu as the unwanted treble was completed at the weekend.

It was hardly the ideal preparation for the Red men who go into their Shropshire FA County Cup tie against Telford Juniors tonight (Wednesday, 7.45 at Wellington Amateurs FC) having played just one game in nearly a month.

The momentum gained during the
5-0 thrashing of New Mills 11 days ago left the Yockings Park side in confident mood ahead of their scheduled trip to Bacup.

But heavy overnight rain in East Lancashire led to the inevitable call-off with the Brian Boys West View Stadium pitch waterlogged for the second time in a week.

Results at the top end of the First Division were kind to Whitchurch with Litherland Remyca losing for the first time this season, surprisingly at home to New Mills.

And a late winner for Prestwich Heys at Alsager saw them take over in second place. Alport have slipped to sixth in Division One but have as many as three games in hand on some of their rivals.

Manager Luke Goddard hastily arranged a 90-minute training session for his squad after being informed of the postponement just before 11am.

The game against Telford should leave them fit and raring to go ahead of a three consecutive home matches which starts with the visit of lowly Atherton LR on Saturday, followed by a mouth-watering Monday night Macron Cup tie against one of the biggest names in non-league football, Northwich Victoria.

Goddard was expecting the Bacup game to be off but couldn’t hide his frustration: “It wasn’t a surprise that Bacup had to call off the game,” he said.

“I think that’s the third already there so no wonder they’ve played only seven games!

“It’s not going to get any better. We’ve had problems with Yockings in the past but since I arrived we’ve staged every game on the day it was scheduled.

“You wonder how much effort some clubs put in to ensure games are played – we saw that last year at Blackpool when the pitch was perfectly playable, and they tried to pull the wool over our eyes and called our game off.

“I see they managed to play at home yesterday despite horrendous weather – and that might be explained by the fact it was National Non League Day and they quadrupled their gate!”

The Reds boss admitted the cancellation was going to affect the starting line-up for tonight’s match with his players desperate for game time.

“I already had a team in mind for the Telford Cup tie and only three players who started against New Mills were in it,” he said.

“But because the game was called off we’ll need to go with a stronger XI to get them right for Atherton at the weekend.

“That will be our 10th league game of the season whereas at the same stage 12 months ago we were 17 games in. You have to question why the league haven’t given us more midweeks especially as we have a pitch that can cope with them.

“It’s hugely frustrating but it is what it is and the results were a bit kinder to us at the weekend.”

n Saturday’s match against Atherton LR is sponsored by Masters Carpets.

n Monday night football comes to Yockings Park for the first time this season, when Northwich provide the opposition in a first round Macron Cup tie. An away trip to Hanley Town is the prize for the winners.

The match kicks off at 7.45 and the sponsors are Whitchurch Photography.

Email:

neil.avery

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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