MATCH ABANDONED WITH FLEET A GOAL TO THE GOOD BECAUSE OF SNOW…
EBBSFLEET UNITED A-A BURTON ALBION
Burton Albion held on to their unbeaten record and winning run of 14 games but had the foul weather to thank for it after Thursday night’s match was abandoned on 64 minutes because of snowfall.
It was tough on the Fleet who led through Jamie Hand’s third minute strike and were more than holding their own against the runaway league leaders but referee Steve Creighton called proceedings to a halt, not because the pitch was unplayable – he later admitted the surface wasn’t unduly troubling him – but because he and his officials simply couldn’t see the pitch markings and therefore make decisions.
The surprise snowfall had arrived shortly before kick-off, forcing the Fleet into an emergency dash to fetch a supply of coloured balls at the behest of the referee, but at first the snow didn’t appear to be settling as Fleet raced into a lead when Hand’s shot from the edge of the box following a corner found its way through a crowd of bodies and into the bottom corner past a possibly unsighted Kevin Poole. Hand was reigning supreme in midfield, giving Stacy Long and Ricky Shakes a rich supply of passes to run on to and though Burton dominated possession towards the end of the first half, they rarely threatened a goal. Lee Morris did look odds-on to equalise when he beat the offside trap but Craig Stone performed a wonderful tackle to save Lance Cronin from having to intervene.
On 37 minutes the conditions saw Cronin fumble a rolling ball as he spilled it out for a corner and from the kick, Michael Gash struck a somewhat venomous back pass that his goalkeeper was fortunate to gather. But with Derek Duncan performing very well at left back – he was leading contender for the official man of the match when the game was abandoned too – Burton just didn’t have a sharp edge to their play.
The snow was thicker towards the end of half-time and fell in earnest at the break, prompting a small contingent of broom wielders to begin sweeping inches of it from the lines on and around the pitch. But with the football almost a sideshow upon the restart as the swept areas quickly became covered again, the referee made his decisions 20 minutes in to blow for abandonment.
It?s something we?ve got to take on the chin,? Daish said following the game. “We?ll play the game again and hopefully end up with the same result. I think if we?d cleared the lines properly, it would have carried on. Maybe I?m reacting too much, but it?s how I feel really. The
players are gutted because they?ve done their jobs, but it wasn?t to