FANS were left frustrated – and out of pocket – after Saturday’s decision to postpone Burton Albion’s third round FA Cup game at Bournemouth one and a half hours before kick-off.
Brewers boss Gary Rowett described the pitch as “completely playable” and had sympathy for the hundreds of Burton fans who had made the lengthy trip to the south coast.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe took a different view – but also felt for the Albion faithful.
He said: “We are disappointed because when the away team and their supporters travel, you want the game on.
“We certainly wanted it on.
“You have to look at the positives in every situation and at least our pitch stays in one piece.
“My initial reaction when I saw the pitch was that the game could be in doubt.
“There was water on the top and, when you took two or three steps on it, you realised just how wet it was.
“Anyone coming to watch would not have seen a proper match and it would have been a bit of a farce.”
However, many Albion fans thought referee Iain Williamson’s decision to call off the match so close to kick-off was the farce – and were left counting the cost of the postponement.
Many criticised the timing of the decision to postpone.
Joe Trigg said: “What I don’t understand is why did the pitch pass earlier inspections with no change in conditions – £40 lost on trains.
“Ref made decision far too late in the day,” said Claire Wilkins. “Costly for travelling fans.
“(I) was five miles from the ground when called off. Paid for hotel... midweek replay impossible to get to.”
Charlotte Howard labelled the decision a “joke”.
She said: “No worse than Mansfield’s pitch and a waste of fans time and money leaving it this late.
Jamie Goldsmith was left “fuming” at the timing of the decision.
He said: Should’ve been early inspection and early decision made with weather forecast in mind – but that’d be showing common sense and regard to the common football fan wouldn’t it?
“Tell them thanks for waiting until 1.45 for that decision after people have spent their time and money travelling.”
Adam Drew said: “I was working today (Saturday). But leaving decision that late, when both teams were happy is bad. Waste of fans’ money and time travelling all that way for nothing.”
Will Charlton believes playing the postponed tie in midweek creates a new problem.
He said: “(I) feel for those who went – quicker decision needed.
“Midweek original tie and potential replay is going to hinder league.”
But the main criticism centred on the proximity to kick-off of the postponement decision.
Adrian Torr said: “I never went but I think it is shocking that they called a game off when it shouldn’t have been – and so late as well.”
“Sounds like the referee didn’t want to get wet,” said Gary Keen.
Jack Orton described the postponement as “an absolute joke” while Jonathan Langton simply labelled the decision “ridiculous”.
THE Anglesey Arms in Stretton is running a coach for Burton Albion’s trip to Bury on Saturday, January 18.
The coach will leave the public house at noon. Seats are priced £11.
To book contact Reg Drew on 07864679249.
Alternatively, Albion fans can call in at the Anglesey Arms to book their spot.