SATURDAY’S local derby between East Preston and Littlehampton was brought to a premature end at The Lashmar on Saturday - by a six-foot deep hole in the pitch.
The County League Division 1 game was just 15 minutes old when referee John Walker had to call the game off, as the foot-wide hole emerged just outside one of the penalty areas, after a manhole cover was dislodged.
EP boss Sammy Donnelly said: “It’s something that I have never seen in all my time in football. I am just pleased that someone managed to spot it without anybody getting hurt because that could have caused one of the players a real problem.”
Golds manager Mark Bennett added: “I’m not sure what to say, really. It is something that I have never seen before and probably will never see again.”
Referee Walker said: “I was left with no other alternative than to call the match off.
“It was such a strange one and something which I have never seen. It was brought to my attention during the game and I came to the decision to abandon the game.
“I must admit when somebody said that there was a hole in the pitch, I was not expecting to see what I did. It was quite extraordinary.”