'Correct call' made as Horndean's abandoned meeting with Blackfield & Langley turns into a 'bit of a farce'

Manager Michael Birmingham had no complaints as Horndean's Wessex League Premier Division meeting with Blackfield & Langley at Five Heads Park was abandoned yesterday.

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 4:37 pm
Horndean's Connor Duffin netted against Blackfield & Langley. Picture: Barry Zee

The Deans were leading 2-1 through strikes from Zack Willett and Connor Duffin when the fixture was scrapped after 57 minutes in the driving rain.

But Birmingham believes the 'right decision' was reached in calling the game off because of a waterlogged pitch just before the hour.

Should Horndean have held on for victory they would have moved up a place to third in the table - above Fareham Town after their loss at AFC Stoneham.

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However, Birmingham was more concerned about the players' safety and when that was put at risk he insisted it was the correct call to abandon the fixture.

Birmingham said: ‘We came out at half time and it was like a river was coming down the pitch, we were like ‘where’s that come from?’. The referee did the right thing calling it off straightaway - it was dangerous.

‘I just thing there was an absolute monsoon at half time and as we walked across the pitch there was standing water. The ball wasn’t running - nothing.

‘He (the referee) came other to both dugouts and all I said to him was, ‘is the players’ safety at risk?’ he replied ‘yes’, so it was a no-brainer, really.

‘I’m not being funny - it wouldn’t have mattered if we were 5-0 down or 5-0 up - the referee made the right call.’

Birmingham felt the persistent rain and standing water on the Five Heads Park surface had turned the fixture into a bit of a 'farce'.

And it was preventing his men from playing the usual passing approach they look to employ. He added: ‘We did okay, especially the first 15 minutes. We came out really, really fast and played some good football.

‘The game was just becoming a farce. Blackfield like to get it down, we like to get it down, you couldn’t get it down - well, you could get it down but it just wasn’t running - there are no complaints from me, the referee was 100 per cent correct.’