Dark day for Gosport as Twickenham clash is called off

Neil McRoberts. Picture: Sarah Standing (142624-8087)
Neil McRoberts. Picture: Sarah Standing (142624-8087)
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Gosport & Fareham were left frustrated after their London one south game against Twickenham at Gosport Park was called off in bizarre circumstances.

Twickenham arrived nearly an hour late due to an accident on the motorway.

Because of the late kick-off, the home side planned to move the game to a different pitch, where floodlights were available.

The visitors, however, were unhappy with the decision leaving a large home crowd hugely disappointed.

Gosport head coach Neil McRoberts was not happy after his player’s preparations went to waste.

He said: ‘Twickenham got stuck on the motorway and eventually turned up at 2.45pm.

‘We knew the light would fade, so we marked out our other pitch where we have floodlights.

‘The lights are more than ample for a game.

‘But because they are not officially certified as match lights we needed the permission of the referee and opposition for the game to go ahead.

‘The referee, Richard James, was happy and very pro-active in trying to get the game on.

‘Unfortunately the Twickenham director of rugby walked around and wasn’t prepared to play.

‘It was very disappointing because we had 60 people in for a dinner beforehand and there must have been nearly 200 supporters on the side waiting for a game of rugby.’

The postponement leaves the Hampshire club with a fixture problem because the game has been rescheduled for January 24 – meaning their Hampshire Cup semi-final will probably have to be moved.

‘It isn’t ideal,’ added McRoberts.

‘From our perspective the players feel aggrieved they didn’t play, particularly after they warmed up twice for the game.

‘They remained focused, though, and are champing at the bit to get out there next time.

‘It is still a massive month for us and the guys are determined to take their frustrations out in the right way.’

Gosport head to Sutton & Epsom on Saturday but then have two successive home games.