FC STRATFORD were left bemused after Wednesday night’s scheduled fixture at home to Enville Athletic was called off an hour before kick-off.
Despite both teams being happy to play the Midland League Division Three fixture, the referee said the pitch was unplayable at 6.50pm.
FC Stratford said they could only apologise but they were baffled by the official’s decision and Enville agreed.
“We’d like to publicly apologise to @enville_fc following this evening’s events,” posted the club on social media. “We thought the pitch was more than playable and assumed it would be in everyone’s best interest to play football.”
The postponement only adds to the growing backlog of fixtures but the Midland League has now decided to extend the season by a couple of weeks.
It has been a nightmare time with the weather, first snow, then ice and now rain playing havoc with the league fixture lists and the Midland League board has been given permission to continue the campaign. Premier Division and Division One fixtures must now be completed by Monday, May 7 and the other divisions by Saturday, May 12.
“The main focus of the decision made by the board is to maintain the integrity of the Total Motion Midland Football League,” said vice-chairman Steve Poole.
FC Stratford still have to play just less than half their league fixtures – 14 games of the 30-match programme.
Dave Poulson’s men head to Leamington Hibernian on Saturday before a home game with Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons on Tuesday (7.45pm) and then a trip to Alcester Town on Thursday (6.20pm).
On Monday, Poulson’s men recorded their best win since the turn of the year by demolishing visitors Castle Vale Town 6-0.
It was 4-0 at half-time as FC Stratford took charge. An own goal following a swift counter-attack gave the hosts the lead before James Gifford slotted home a second from inside the area for his 22nd goal in 24 appearances.
Dan Stokes converted from Ashley Wilkes’ lay-off for 3-0 with his tenth goal of the season before a Wilkes corner found the net as the Vale keeper miscued.
A surging run and finish from Dean Poulson netted FC’s fifth before Wilkes had a hand in number six with a header over the top and substitute Steve Barrett eluded a defender and drilled into the bottom corner.