Derby cancellation leaves Carter livid
Moneyfields manager Dave Carter was left livid after Horndean pulled out of yesterday's Wessex premier derby at Dover Road just 24 hours before kick-off.
Deans boss Michael Birmingham said a flu virus which has been ravaging through his squad made it impossible for him to field a team.
Carter, however, was furious by the cancellation and believes it sets a dangerous precedent for the league.
‘It opens up a can of worms for the rest of the season,’ said Carter.
‘Teams might feel that they can manipulate games to suit them.
‘We have already seen Bemerton Heath and Hamble Club get away with calling games off.
‘I believe the league should be docking clubs points if they fail to fulfil a fixture.
‘In the eight years I was manager at Horndean, I never called a game off once.
‘We always got some sort of team out.
‘There have been times this season when we have been without a number of players but have gone ahead with the games.
‘Players will be missing for our game at Portchester next week but we won’t cry off.
‘The Horndean match was a big Christmas game for the club and we were expecting a bumper crowd.
‘Food had already been bought for the VIP lunches which were booked at the club.
‘It is a massive disappointment to everyone here at the club.’
Leaders Moneyfields were hoping to complete a league double over their rivals and stretch their 10-point lead at the top.
Carter’s team won 2-0 at Five Heads Park earlier in the season after home keeper Tom Price was sent off.
Birmingham was keen to see his Horndean side turn the tables but felt sickness left him with little choice.
‘I was on the phone 10pm Christmas Day trying to get players,’ admitted Birmingham.
‘Even with two players that I could have dual-registered, it still only gave me seven players.
‘I tried my utmost to get a team out at the expense of my time with the family on Christmas Day.
‘How I am not divorced I don’t know!
‘Players were ringing me up saying that they had been in bed all day and not even had their Christmas dinner.
‘They were dropping like flies.
‘Everyone knows there is a lot of sickness flying about at the moment.
‘Our youth team are all 16 year olds and I wasn’t prepared to put them into such a pressure situation.
‘They would have been massacred against the big powerful players Moneyfields possess.
‘I thought it better to give Moneyfields some notice rather than turn up on the day with just seven players.
‘It was an attempt to try to do things right and I was in a no-win situation.
‘I was looking forward to the game myself and it was horrible having to call it off. Realistically, it could never have gone ahead.’