Calls for common sense after Horsham v Lewes postponed an hour before kick-off

The pitch at the Dripping Pan was deemed unfit by the match officials just before 2pm, postponing the Lewes v Horsham clash. Picture by Sean Bravery
The pitch at the Dripping Pan was deemed unfit by the match officials just before 2pm, postponing the Lewes v Horsham clash. Picture by Sean Bravery

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola called for common sense to be used after their clash at Lewes on Bank Holiday Monday was called off just over an hour before it was due to kick-off.

The Bostik League South Division match was set for a bumper crowd at the Dripping Pan before late rain put paid to the clash.

Despite the best efforts of the league leaders to get the game on, heavy rainfall between 11.30am and when the match officials arrived caused the pitch to waterlog and the fixture was called off at 1.50pm.

By that time, Horsham had been at the ground for almost an hour and some travelling supporters had also started to arrive.

Di Paola felt that by looking at the predicted weather, a call could have possibly been made earlier. He said: “I really like Lewes as a club, the people there and Darren (Freeman) and Ross (Standen) and the rest of the management. When you looked at the forecast it was always going to be a problem and it needed a bit of common sense to be used.

“They clearly tried their best to get it on, but when we got there at 1pm there was no chance it was playable. It could have been called off then, but the referee did not get there until quite late, so we had to hang around.

“It was the right decision, it was waterlogged. Looking at the forecast, I was expecting a call on Sunday night or in the morning. They obviously wanted to get the game of as they were expecting a big crowd and did not want a backlog of fixture, but I wish at all levels of football we’d use a bit of common sense.

“It’s just frustrating all round, for the supporters, for everyone. If you know earlier you can make other plans and do not waste a whole day.

“Having said that, you can’t win really. The Ashford United game we called off the night before, it then rained which melted all the snow and we could have played it.”

The clash was hastily been rearranged for Wednesday, April 11, at 7.45pm.