Football faces a further washout

JPCT 221212 Wet weather. Soggy football pitch, Loxwood. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 221212 Wet weather. Soggy football pitch, Loxwood. Photo by Derek Martin

The heavy rain which has battered the entire country took its toll on the local football scene at the weekend.

Just one Ryman League game took place across the three divisions while both the Sussex County League and West Sussex Football League were completely washed out.

And with grounds saturated with water and more rain on the way the busy festive period is set for further disruptions.

Horsham’s home game with Whitstable was already off by 9.30am with the Gorings Mead pitch looking ‘like a lake’ following the heavy downpours on Thursday and Friday. Their next home game against Crawley Down on New Year’s Day is already in the balance depending how much more rain falls before then.

23 of the scheduled 24 games across the three Ryman League divisions were off, only Maidstone against Worthing took place on the Stones’ 3G pitch, ending in a 2-2 draw.

All 26 Sussex County League games were washed out across the six divisions, taking the total of postponements already this season to 178, the worst since the 2000/01 season.

Fixture secretary Tim Dawes said: “Last season we had a weekend with no games because of the snow but I can’t tell you the last time it was all rained off, that is very rare. It was probably the infamous 2000/01 season when it rained and rained for months and cup competitions had to be abandoned and league games were only just completed. We’re OK at the moment but if the rain continues certain clubs are going to face a backlog of fixtures.”