Yeovil Town have described the decision to call off today’s home match with Altrincham as “outrageous” after the referee deemed Huish Park unplayable an hour-and-a-half before kick-off.

The surface had been covered overnight with temperatures dropping below zero and a “group of staff and volunteers” were on the pitch to attempt to make it playable. The pitch in front of the Thatcher’s Stand had been covered since the start of the week as it gets less sun on it, but the rest of the surface was only covered on Friday.

Just before 11am, the club confirmed there would be a 1pm pitch inspection describing it as “firm in some small patches” and comments from the club’s official Facebook account said “there were no qualified referees in the area able to come in this morning” and conduct an earlier inspection.

In a statement confirming the postponement, the club said: “We are extremely disappointed to announce this afternoon’s game has been postponed.

The covers were removed from the pitch this morning, a group of staff and volunteers put their efforts in to make the pitch playable.

The manager (and) players were happy to play the game and will now be training on this pitch.

In our view the referee has made an outrageous decision to call the game off despite representations from the club that the game should go ahead.

In a post on Twitter, BBC Somerset reporter Sheridan Robins said that (as yet to be formally announced, but presumed) chief executive Martyn Starnes would be making a complaint to the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) about the decision.

With more than 200 miles and almost four hours of travelling time between South Manchester and South Somerset, unsurprisingly both the Altrincham players and staff and supporters were already at Huish Park when the decision came in.

The decision comes just four days after Yeovil were the victims of a late postponement at Barnet which was called off less than two hours before kick-off on Tuesday night.

Manager Mark Cooper described that decision as “embarrassing” saying: “I don’t think there’s any need to drag a team and supporters all that way when you know what is going to happen. The pitch is not going to get any softer between 4pm and 6pm, is it?

It would have been easier to call it off as other teams did on Tuesday night. It is just a bit embarrassing for Barnet rather than for us and I just feel sorry for the supporters who had to travel all that way.

Here’s how the pitch looked in pictures….

That tricky area in front of the Thatcher’s Stand at 11am after the covers were removed….
…..a few hours later as staff and volunteers worked on the pitch….
….and then at 1.30pm as @altrinchamfc Twitter confirmed the postponement m.

Check out Ian’s Gloversblog on the subject of late postponements written after the abandonment at Barnet – read here.

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1 year ago

This is utterly ridiculous, if both teams are happy to play the game should be going ahead. Decisions like this from unofficials will destroy the national league