We would like to briefly explain what happened last night for the “game” against Clapton at Newham Leisure Centre. However, we would like to begin by apologising to the players of both clubs, the match officials, our committee, and in particular, our supporters, who made a difficult midweek journey only to be left disappointed. We would like to offer all those who made the trip to Newham a beer at our next home game, free of charge.
Firstly there was a pitch inspection by the match referee at 3.20pm where he attended and deemed the pitch playable.
At 6:15pm, the first member of our management team arrived, and he immediately checked the pitch. It was still firm (no puddles or soggy patches), but to his surprise, there were no lines/markings on the pitch.
At 6:20pm the match officials arrived and raised the issue with the Clapton officials. Unfortunately, the Clapton officials began to blame everyone but themselves – the referee, Newham Leisure Centre – for the problems with the pitch. According to the Clapton officials, there were lines on the pitch on Saturday.
When one of our club officials questioned why an official from Clapton did not arrive earlier to check the facility like every other club official in the league would have done, the response was aggressive, hostile and was intended to intimidate.
At approximately 6:45pm the match officials and the referee’s assessor rightly said that the game would be called off unless Clapton could paint some lines on the pitch.
At 7pm a man and a bag of white spray cans arrived and began to mark the lines. The referee agreed to delay kick-off until 8pm to give him the opportunity to mark the pitch. After a discussion with a Clapton official, he sprayed one line and disappeared along with the bag of spray cans.
When the match official asked where the man was who started spraying the lines had gone he was informed by a Clapton official that he had gone to buy some paint from B&Q. At this point circa 50 people from the local running club started their warm-up on the track around the pitch. As soon as the match officials spotted them, the referee called the match off again.
We would like to believe that the home side did everything in their power to get the game played, but the shambles last night leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Again, we apologise to all those left disappointed, having had their time wasted and left out of pocket following the disgraceful events of last night, which bring embarrassment to the league’s reputation.