Infinity boss hits out after Southampton v Tottenham FA Cup tie contributed to Hampshire Premier League being called off late on

Infinity boss Danny Thompson has branded the latest Hampshire Premier League ‘no-show’ as ‘embarrassing.’

Monday, 27th January 2020, 11:20 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:31 pm
Infinity boss Danny Thompson. Picture: Keith Woodland

The top flight leaders were left kicking their heels at the weekend after arriving at rock bottom Chamberlayne Athletic to find the hosts had called the game off due to a lack of players.

It was the second time this season that Infinity had suffered in this way - Overton were unable to raise a side on the opening Saturday in August.

Paulsgrove, however, have THREE times been on the receiving end of opponents failing to muster a team.

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Portchester (blue) score during their Len Day Cup loss to Meon Milton. Picture by Kevin Shipp.

They were also inactive last weekend as scheduled opponents Winchester Castle failed to raise a team.

That follows Castle being unable to raise a side against Grove in September and Sway doing likewise last month.

‘I couldn’t believe it,’ said Thompson. ‘I’d only just got the ground when I got a text from their manager saying the game was off because he only had three players.

‘He said a few of his players didn’t fancy it because they were bottom of the table, and some of them had gone to watch Southampton v Tottenham in the FA Cup.

‘Surely he must have known on Friday night that he wouldn’t have a team?

‘It was absolutely embarrassing and it doesn’t look good on the league. Something’s got to be done about it.

‘The pitch wasn’t marked out, the nets weren’t up - I’m not sure how much they wanted to play the game.

‘It’s hard to keep motivated when these things happen. I’m used to doing things properly, but some teams have a Sunday League attitude.

‘Overton couldn’t raise a team for the first game of the season. How can that happen?

‘The season’s been a bit of a nightmare, it’s just stop-start all the time.

‘What we don’t want is what Infinity had last season when loads of games were crammed into 10 days at the end of the season.

‘I bet your bottom dollar we’ll end the season playing Paulsgrove and Colden Common and Bush Hill in the last game, as they did last year.’

Infinity are due at Liss on Tuesday night - a game that has already been postponed twice - and are scheduled to play Winchester Castle next Saturday.

‘We just want to get back playing and get into a rhythm,’ said Thompson.

Victory at Liss would take them eight points clear of second-placed Fleetlands. But if Bush Hill win at Overton on Wednesday, the lead would be cut to six - and Bush would still have a game in hand.

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Eight Hampshire Premier League top flight games have now been called off this season due to teams not being able to raise enough players.

Three teams - Sway, Chamberlayne and Winchester Castle - are responsible for six of them.

Sway have not been able to fulfil fixtures at Paulsgrove and Liphook, while Chamberlayne called off their game at Sway prior to doing the same for Infinity’s visit last weekend.

Winchester have twice called off games against Paulsgrove.

Elsewhere, Overton (at Infinity on the opening day) and Locks Heath (at Hayling United on Bank Holiday Monday at the end of August) also couldn’t raise a team.

All instances of a club failing to honour a game in this way are punished by a £100 fine.

Sway also couldn’t raise a team for a Hampshire Trophy trip to Ryde Saints, while their reserves cried off against Colden Common 1st XI in the same competition.

In Division 1 of the HPL, AFC Petersfield have cried off one league game at Michelmersh and Netley Central couldn’t raise a team for a cup tie against Fleetlands.

AFC Petersfield also could not raise a side fora home cup game v Fleetlands

This is all in stark contrast to last season when only one top flight game was called off in this way - QK Southampton unable to raise a side for the visit of Bush Hill.

In Division 1, Headley United twice couldn’t raise a side - for trips to AFC Petersfield and Lyndhust.