Lunchtime downpour wipes out non-league fixtures

Ilkley Gazette: Guiseley’s match against Stalybridge Celtic fell foul of the weather, with Nethermoor, pictured, unable to cope with the torrential downpour that hit at lunchtime Guiseley’s match against Stalybridge Celtic fell foul of the weather, with Nethermoor, pictured, unable to cope with the torrential downpour that hit at lunchtime

On a weekend when the adverse weather led to Football League fixtures being affected, all but one of our semi-professional clubs faced frustration.

Six of the seven scheduled fixtures were washed out, some of them very late in the day.

The decision was taken by the match referee less than an hour before kick-off at three of the grounds.

The biggest casualty was Guiseley’s home clash with Stalybridge Celtic in the Conference North. The staff and volunteers worked on the pitch at Nethermoor most of the morning but a late downpour thwarted their efforts.

The referee called the game off just 40 minutes before it was due to start. It was their fourth home game on the trot to be shelved during this wet winter.

Lions boss Mark Bower said, “We are getting closer, at least everyone got stripped today. With the deluge at two o’clock there was nothing that could be done and it was the correct decision, even though it was frustrating.”

Silsden’s home game against Winsford United in the North West Counties Premier Division was another to bite the dust following the monsoon-like conditions around lunchtime.

Cobbydalers secretary Jim Rosser said: “Our game was called off about 2.25pm and it was frustrating really because they (Winsford) were here by then but at least we had some food for them.

“We didn’t think it (the pitch) was fit when the local referee came to do the morning inspection, although he felt it was okay. But there was no chance after that later torrential rain.”

Liversedge were due to host Long Eaton United in the Toolstation Northern Counties East Premier Division but that was another that left both the opposition and the supporters facing a long trip home after a wasted journey.

Thackley’s home game against Garforth Town in the same division and Eccleshill United’s trip to Dronfield Town in the NCE Division One were both called off early on Saturday morning.

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