Sunday, 17 March 2013

Appleby Frodingham Saints 1 v Retford United 2 - Lincs Intermediate League (North)

Sometimes, you just know, that even setting off to a game on a rainy day, is a really bad idea.
We aren't fair weather football fans when all is said and done, we're hardcore! So nothing ventured, nothing gained, n' all that, eh!?
Besides, there is a bit of cover at 'Frod' and a decent upstairs bar, affording spectacular panoramic views of the pitch.
Err, of the main pitch anyway.
We arrived today to discover that pitch is unavailable and the game is being played a few hundred yards away from the dressing room, out of the main ground and a squelching route march along the cricket pitch boundary away.
Retford were in front after five minutes when Aaron Hutchinson set up Mikey Fox, who put the ball home from 10 yards.
2pm and all is well, it's a bit wet in places, but it's playable.
The home side forced a corner out on the right wing that led to an equalising goal, in the ninth minute, as the pitch began to cut up heavily in some places and turn into a mini lake in others.
Passing football was fast abandoned as an option, because the ball wasn't running true.
Running and dribbling weren't an option either, with players either getting bogged down or falling over as they attempted to plough through the mud dragging the ball along.
Going long was out of the question too, because the sodden ball just stayed wherever it landed heavily, while the player it was intended for splashed off into the distance.
 Kick off time and the heavens open.
In spite of the rapidly worsening under foot conditions, both sides created a number of chances for the remainder of the first half, but the game had become a bit of a farce and it was obvious that the weather, which hadn't been forecast to be quite as shitty, wasn't going to improve any time soon.
Jason Swannack knocked home a second goal for Retford on 44 minutes, at which point we decided to move our car to the adjacent sports centre car park and watch the second half from there with the heating on, because even watching the game outdoors had become a treacherous task by now.
But as the half time whistle sounded, the referee. Mr Jubbs, of the Parish of Gainsborough, summoned the managers into the middle of the pitch and informed them that the game was being called off.
Both teams players were obviously pleased with the decision and couldn't get back to the warmth of the dressing rooms quick enough. Everybody present agreed that it was the only sensible thing to do.
Then the hail stones start ... proper big 'uns n' all.
And the pitch starts to flood.
Retford's sub wandered into a patch of quicksand.
And was never seen again!
Jeff Stutt, Retford United Under 18's most notorious hooligan ultra, roars the team on, undeterred by 'a bit of rain'.
 A blizzard arrives and the middle of the park was turned into a gooey mess.
And the wings weren't holding up much much better.
The snow relented briefly and we were treated to a mere torrential rain downpour for a few minutes.
But it soon returned.
With interest!
Jason Swannack scoring Retford's second on 44 minutes
The referee discusses the worsening weather and the unsafe, unplayable pitch conditions (the pictures only tell half of the story) with the managers at half time.
Game abandoned!
This winter has well overstayed it's welcome now and it's time it buggered off, before this season's runs into next season as clubs endeavour to clear fixture backlogs.