Heath boss defends club over late Sussex Senior Cup postponement

Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre football pitch. 22/09/2015 Pic Steve Robards SR1522459 SUS-150922-141124001
Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre football pitch. 22/09/2015 Pic Steve Robards SR1522459 SUS-150922-141124001
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Broabridge Heath boss Steve Painter said he was as disappointed as anyone that Tuesday’s Sussex Senior Cup tie was called-off just 45 minutes before kick-off - but believes it was the right decision.

The Bears welcomed Ryman League Premier Division outfit Burgess Hill to the leisure centre, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

But the match referee deemed the pitch unplayable and waterlogged after he arrived at the 11th hour.

Painter has defended the club from some online criticism and insists they were first told by the leisure centre it was playable and then had to follow FA rules.

He said: “It obviously rained on Tuesday and the leisure centre told us the pitch was playable. We turned up and the referee turned up and both managers and the referee agreed is was not playable.

“We are led by the leisure centre. It was a big game for both sides and people may say a poor pitch would be a leveller for us, but I don’t see it like that. At the end of the day we both agreed we did not want our players playing on it.

“When the players and I got to the ground, I had my concerns, but the FA rules state we must wait for the referee to call it. I have seen all the stuff on Twitter (criticism), but it is not the club’s fault or really the leisure centre’s fault - you cannot dictate the weather.

“It was the biggest game in the club’s history and we wanted it played, but you have to look after the players first and foremost.”

A new date will be arranged in due course.

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