Sydenhams derby postponed due to waterlogged pitch

Salisbury Journal: Jeff Softley Jeff Softley

CONTINUOUS rain meant Downton’s eagerly-anticipated derby with Bemerton Heath Harlequins was postponed, along with a series of non-league cancellations across the weekend.

A waterlogged pitch at Wick Lane on Monday night meant the two Salisbury clubs were victims of the weather as the pre-Christmas Sydenhams Premier crunch-time was called off hours before kick-off.

“It’s really disappointing as we needed the game to be on,” said frustrated Downton boss Jeff Softley.

“Derby day is a gate we rely on, but I knew it was going to be cancelled when I woke up on Monday morning.

“We’ve now got some really tough games coming up – Sholing away on Saturday, and then Moneyfields at home – so we’re in for a tough period.”

Downton’s clash with Blackfield and Langley will also be on the re-arrangement list after Saturday’s clash fell foul to the rain 90 minutes before the start. They even travelled with a full squad to Southampton without being informed the pitch was in an unplayable condition, not having a morning inspection.

“It was absolutely ridiculous,” Softley lambasted.

“When we got there I saw their manager Kevin Gibbens and he said there’s no way this will be on.

“The pitch was so flooded the referee didn’t even get to the halfway line before calling it off.

“It was a wasted trip.”

All other Premier and Division One sides will be re-scheduling Saturday’s games, but they will return to action if they survive the forecasted downpours.

Laverstock and Ford have a hectic two days at the Dell, hosting Pewsey Vale on Boxing Day (1pm) and then returning on Saturday for New Milton Town. Amesbury Town play on Friday night (7.45pm) at home to fellow strugglers Andover New Street.

l Bemerton play host to Blackfield on Saturday (3pm).

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