CONTINUED bad weather is beginning to affect Whitchurch Alport’s season, with a Saturday fixture yet to be held at home.

Their campaign began on August 3 with a 1-0 win at Northwich Victoria, but since then the club has been hit with a string of postponements and blank Saturdays.

Despite the season being 14 weeks old, Alport have only played 12 league games – and have yet to stage a Saturday match at Yockings Park.

Back-to-back postponements over the weekend cost the club much-needed revenue, with the Macron Cup tie against Shelley FC cancelled and the Premier Division clash with Litherland REMYCA postponed.

Reds manager Luke Goddard has practically moved into the club’s Black Park Road stadium over the past few days and when Monday night’s match fell victim to the weather, it put paid to valiant efforts by a number of volunteers to make sure the game went ahead.

It was around 5pm on Monday when Goddard finally threw in the towel and admitted defeat.

“It’s absolutely soul-destroying,” he said. “I’ve spent three of the last four days at the ground busting a gut to try and clear water off the pitch.

“Fifteen full dustbin-loads of water were manually taken off on the Friday and we had all that rain throughout the evening and into Saturday morning.

“The pitch was inspected at 10am on Saturday and was passed fit but incessant rainfall in the hour or so that followed led to an inevitable postponement.

“We had to be fair to [Shelley FC] who had an 80-mile journey ahead of them, and so had to concede defeat.

“Losing Monday’s game, though, hurt a lot more.”

Despite the efforts to clear the water and get the pitch match ready, Alport’s Twitter account was trolled on both occasions by ‘keyboard warriors’, something Goddard naturally found irritating.

“My apologies for attempting to get games on,” said Goddard. “Maybe next time I’ll stay in bed and not give a damn.

“Arriving at Yockings on Monday morning and seeing all that water on the pitch was devastating.

“I’ve not seen it that bad in ages so it looked like a lost cause even though it had been a relatively dry day.

“But we decided to give it everything we had and hired a pump to help clear hundreds of gallons of water from the playing surface.

“But the water tables being so high at the moment meant that we were clearing it from one area and puddles were popping up all over the place.

“We had to consider player safety and some areas of the pitch were like a bog and if your boot sunk into the mud and you tried to turn on it, that’s when a serious injury could occur.”

For many at the club, one of the most frustrating aspects is that the Yockings Park pitch was in ‘superb’ condition just a few short weeks ago, but an unprecedented amount of rain has turned part of it into a swamp.

“The pitch looked fantastic and was playing really well,” added Goddard. “It’s devastating to see what the heavy rainfall has done to it and there’s a huge area either side of the dugouts that couldn’t be marked due to the amount of mud there.”

The continued postponements and cancellations are also impacting the financial side of things, with various behind-the-scenes costs hitting the Reds’ coffers, with no income to recoup the costs.

“People don’t see the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes,” said Goddard.

“Putting together our matchday programme, for instance, takes a lot of effort and for what?

“This will be the third time where we have printed programmes and there’s a cost associated with that.

“It might only be £60 or £70 but when you’ve no revenue being generated, it can hit you hard.”

Meanwhile, Alport’s Macron Cup second round fixture against Shelley FC has been moved to this Saturday at Yockings Park.

The cup game fixture also means the league game against Longridge Town will also be rearranged, with a date to be confirmed.

Last time out Alport took all three points after scoring a dramatic stoppage time penalty against Squires Gate, although Goddard admitted he felt the team had “got out of jail”.

Several key saves by goal keeper Dave Parton kept Alport in the game and their tenaciousness was rewarded with all three ponts.

Alport remain in third place in the table, behind Longbridge in second, making the next league game a key fixture in the season.

The Reds have a game in hand over the teams behind them but a healthy four-point margin offers some buffer.