1874 Northwich would like to confirm that our FA Vase match against Tow Law Town, is now scheduled to be played on Tuesday 14 November, kick off 7.45pm. If the score is level after 90 minutes, a period of extra time will be played. Should a replay be required, then it is scheduled for Tuesday 21st November.
Following Saturday’s very disappointing postponement, we would like to advise of the events that led to the postponement. Firstly, on behalf of the club, we would like to thank our ‘Stadium Gang’ volunteers, who had worked tirelessly following Tuesday’s Cheshire Senior Cup match to prepare the pitch and facilities for our FA Vase game. Their efforts, as always, are hugely appreciated.
Unfortunately, there had been a lot of rain on Friday, during the day and through the evening into Saturday morning which meant that the pitch was extremely wet in places. Our secretary contacted a locally based Referee, to ask him to carry out a pitch inspection and he arrived at 9.20am, the earliest opportunity he had to do so. The Referee advised that in his opinion, there was an important area of the pitch, to the right-hand side of the penalty area, that was unplayable. Despite there being no rain on Saturday morning, he believed that the pitch would not dry out sufficiently, to be playable by 3pm. His decision was taken with player safety in mind. Telephone conversations then took place with the Match Referee and an officer within the FA Competitions Department and both gentlemen gave their full backing that the correct decision had been made. Our secretary) then contacted Tow Law’s Secretary to advise that the game was sadly postponed.
Our secretary was then made aware that Tow Law’s management and players had stayed locally overnight, and a request was made for them to be given access to the stadium, to look at the pitch. This of course was arranged. Whilst being very disappointed with the postponement decision, they were able to witness first hand that there was a problem and that we had tried our best to get the game played.
Our Secretary was asked if the match referee could take a look at the pitch and she advised that he did live some distance away and that he had confirmed that he was comfortable with the postponement decision, after conferring with the inspecting Referee. However she did then call the match referee and handed the phone over to the Assistant Manager, so that he could discuss the situation directly.
We would thank them for the respectful and appropriate way in which they handled the discussions.
Initially, when completing the match arrangement form, it was agreed between the clubs that a replay or a rearrangement of the original game, would take place on Tuesday 14 November. However, given the situation, Tow Law Town asked us to support them in requesting that the match be played on Saturday 18th November and we had no hesitation in agreeing to this. A formal request was sent to the FA by our opponents and in a subsequent telephone call to the FA our secretary advised that we would be willing to play on Saturday and that our League had kindly agreed to release us from our planned fixture.
The FA’s decision was that in accordance with FA Vase rule 11(b), the game must be played by Thursday 16th November and as per the original match arrangement form.
We know that everyone at 1874, empathises with Tow Law Town’s situation, given that we suffered the same fate a couple of seasons ago. Like us, they had arranged for the team to stay overnight, to provide them with the best preparation possible. Their supporters had also started on their journey and had to turn back. Therefore, we fully understand their disappointment. Furthermore, we would add that it was also very disappointing for 1874, as a lot of effort and some expense had gone into preparing for the game.
We appreciate that a midweek fixture means that some supporters, from both clubs, will not be able to attend the match. This is regrettable but clearly beyond our control.
We do look forward to welcoming supporters that can attend the game on Tuesday.
Vicki England 1874 Northwich FC Football Secretary