Toolstation NCEL Division One
Christian Fox says Selby Town are completely blameless for the 7.15pm postponement of their third round tie with Skegness Town.
Selby have been besieged by keyboard warriors on social media who have laid into them over Skegness’s wasted four-hour round trip.
However, the heavy rain only started in Selby at 4.30pm, after Skegness had set off. Standing water only started appearing on the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium pitch at 6.45pm too.
Another reason as to why the match was postponed at such a late hour was because the match officials arrived at 7pm. They had forgotten that their match confirmation email had stated that the bridge at Chapel Haddlesey on the A19 towards Selby is closed both ways until Christmas because of major repairs.
This meant they were forced to take a long diversion route. Had they remembered about the bridge closure, they would have gone off the A1(M) at J42 and taken the straight-forward drive through Monk Fryston, Hambleton and Thorpe Willoughby and got to Selby far earlier.
“I’ve seen some of the comments on Twitter and I think people need to look at the facts,” Fox told Non League Yorkshire.
“We are not cowboys, we are a serious semi-professional football team. Some people need to think before they type. A lot that has been written is disrespectful to Selby Town.
“We were not at fault. What more could we have done? It isn’t Sunday League football, you can’t call a game off just because the forecast says at 1pm it is going to rain in three hours’ time. How often is the forecast wrong?
“Skegness were already on their way when it started raining and the pitch was still playable at 6.30pm. It does look bad that it was called off at 7.15pm, but that’s one to throw at the match officials. They forgot that their email told him that the bridge was closed.
“When you’re in a league that requires a degree of travelling, you have to accept that these kind of postponements happen. They happen in the Football League, they happen in Non League. Guiseley’s FA Trophy replay with Lancaster was postponed at a similar time to ours because of a downpour close to kick off and they are three leagues higher.
”The same scenario could happen to teams travelling to Skegness on a midweek.
“I’m sure teams have travelled 100s of miles to places like Weymouth and seen their game called off because of unexpected rain.
“You can’t control when the rain will fall.”
If there were any positives for Selby to take, the three officials did all buy tickets for the club’s upcoming Christmas Raffle after enjoying their food.