Thank heavens (which opened last night)
Having seen the state of the pitch at the beginning and end of play on Saturday, I am not entirely sure the match should have been given the go-ahead in the morning.
I know it was towards the end of the game, but I watched when one of our long clearances had both height and distance the ball barely bounced off the pitch. On a normal surface it would probably have bounced to waist/chest height and on a rock hard pitch to head height or higher; this one didn't get to knee height (Leon Smith’s knee height, not Charlie Goode’s, in case you were wondering).
Re: Thank heavens (which opened last night)
I disagree, David. If at all possible I believe that a game should be played as otherwise fixture congestion results. I don't see the difference between playing on a muddy pitch, playing in high winds or playing on a rock hard pitch - all affect the ability to play good football. I wasn't able to get to Saturday's game but from reading reports it was entertaining and so a good game can be played in adverse conditions.
In the most part, I believe that games should go ahead if possible. One small frozen patch, or a little patch of bad ground, unless in the middle of the penalty area, should not be a reason to call off a game. However, if the overall pitch is in such a bad condition that the players’ safety is compromised, then games should not go ahead. My honest opinion of the pitch on Saturday was that it was not fit. I reckon there were at least half a dozen places where the pitch was unsafe - there is no blame on the groundsman, who had done what he could to get the pitch playable - and that is too many.
There were two examples on Saturday that I feel back me up. A few minutes from the end, we cleared a ball 30 or 40 yards downfield and it went probably 20-25 feet in the air at its highest point. When the ball landed, it bounced not only to less than knee height but also at an angle as if it had been deflected. A couple of minutes later, a Ks player, trying to turn, but under no pressure, went down and got up limping - it certainly didn't look like cramp.
A few years ago a player suffered a ruptured achilles tendon that was almost certainly caused by playing too many games in quick succession on very heavy pitches (that is what the surgeon told him). If we had played last night, any of the starters who made it two full games in three days would not have had sufficient recovery time. This is when players become susceptible to serious injury, and the extra 24 hours for the game next Tuesday will make a huge difference.
Re: Player safety
Have to agree, David. Player safety is of great importance. Can't comment on last Saturday's pitch as wasn't there but must have been a difficult decision for ref, as it must be in cases such as hard pitches. As it turned out, was right decision as (I believe) no-one seriously injured, Hendon won and one less game to play. All adds weight to the argument for having 3G pithes where ref doesn't have such difficult decsions to make.
Come on David, your turn. Don't stop now.
Re: Don't stop
Why? John F has agreed with my observations.
I watched a match in the Essex Senior League last night, Waltham Forest v Hullbridge Sports, at Wadham Lodge. The pitch was heavily sanded in places and bumpy in others, but in no way was it unplayable. What I got was 90+ minutes of pulsating entertainment, honest endeavour and two excellent goalkeeping performances. It would have been one of the best 0-0s I have ever watched until Waltham Forest converted a penalty two minutes into second-half stoppage time.