Sunday 25 August 2013

Long To Reign Over us !

We were witness to all of the above yesterday....the heavy petting came after they scored their third...urghh !

The weather played its part in ruining the fortunes of both my favourite sporting teams this week. I was at Canterbury on Wednesday and Thursday as Kent played Gloucs. On the Thursday heavy rain saw a delayed start but following a 2pm pitch inspection play started at 2.20pm. Very impressive especially when one considers the farcical situation at The Valley yesterday. Sadly yesterday's rain also put paid to Kent's chance of winning their game too.

How can it be that cricket can dry out an area so much larger than that of a football pitch. Why would every league football club not a have a super soaker or whatever it's called. Why could covers not have been placed over the pitch on Friday / Saturday prior to kick off ? Not an entirely unreasonable expectation in this day and age. The expenditure would soon be recouped I'm sure.

What of yesterday's officials then especially referee Collins ( pictured above ). At kick off there was an enormous amount of surface water. I didn't arrive until kick off but it should have clear to him that it needed addressing as the rain was not easing off. He could easily have delayed the kick off whilst the ground staff worked on the pitch or to see how the pitch was going to be affected.

In the lead up to their second goal a cross from the right stopped dead on the penalty spot before it was hoofed away after Hamer was unsure whether to collect it or not. I'd say it may be possible to continue the game if an area, say by the corner flag, is saturated but in the middle of the goal ? I think not.

The pitch was at its worst in our half and more so on the East Stand side. I'm not going to criticise our defence under those conditions as I don't see how they could perform with any degree of confidence.

The referee and his indecisiveness was truly awful. I'm sorry but I fail to see how anyone can defend him. As I said it was clear from the opening 5 minutes that the pitch wasn't playable. The amount of water coming up every time any player ran on it was testament to that. It got worse and so it dragged on.   

Irrespective of the score the only questions the referee had to consider was whether the pitch was fit for purpose and safe. Clearly it wasn't. The decision to suspend the game was madness especially as it still raining and it didn't stop when he decided a resumption was in order. I had retired to the bar during the hiatus but I understand that the referee and his assistants didn't come out and try passing a football in all areas of the pitch. Absolute folly !

Prior to the restart the ball was being bounced in our penalty area ( by Pope I think ), well I say bounced but it was in fact dropped and never got off the ground !

I don't care how new / inexperienced Mr Collins is but it was just a case of common sense, unlike the weather, he was distinctly balmy !

Donny fans may feel aggrieved ( and I had a less than erudite conversation with one of them on the station later on. Apparently our players are pussies etc. I did point out who made the decision to call it off but he wasn't listening and seemed keen to use his fists rather than words so I left him to his own devices ! ) but the game had to be called off and shouldn't have gone on as long as it did.

During what play was possible it was clear that Cousins is more than comfortable at this level particularly if he can perform under those conditions. I do hope that Sir Chris sticks with him he's looking like the one person capable of providing the creativity we need from midfield.

We now face another Yorkshire side on Tuesday and Sir Chris faces a difficult task in selection. Personally I hope he keeps faith with the players who served him so well against Oxford. Let's hope it's a dry late August evening eh ? 


  1. Cannot understand why the ref didn't throw/bounce/kick a ball himself. This simple test should have been done by the four officials pre kick-off, without managers or player intervention. As Mr J Pearce said re Fulham v Arsenal, that the ball has to be able to move. There was the crux of the problem, in so many places it wasn't moving.

  2. Praise must be given to all the groundstaff who tried to deal with the situation of the pitch that was affected by heavy overnight rain on Ftiday that continued until the REALLY heavy downpour just prior to kick-off. Moses would have not been able to part the water that landed on the pitch.
    Its REALLY unfair to aim any criticism at the guys who did all their best to clear the vast amount of lying water.

  3. Anon 1, agree it's crazy that the officials didn't do that at any stage ! Anon 2, I was trying to be critical of the groundstaff per se and know they ultimately did their best to get things going again. I'm making an observation that a cricket pitch can be cleared by the use of the various soakers. I've no idea if we have one but surely they've got to be a good thing. In addition, if we have covers then given the weather forecast they could have been put on the pitch overnight. I'm aware we long since lost the huge cover we used to have. I don't know if Colin Powell and his colleagues have access to any of those resources. I'm guessing that if we haven't then given our current financial position then they won't be getting anything anytime soon.