Peaks: Referee made a sensible call

Andy Peaks felt a sensible decision was made as AFC Rushden & Diamonds' match with Arlesey Town was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch
Andy Peaks felt a sensible decision was made as AFC Rushden & Diamonds' match with Arlesey Town was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch

Andy Peaks had sympathy for those who worked hard to ensure AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ clash with Arlesey Town started before it was abandoned at half-time yesterday (Saturday).

The Dog & Duck pitch was passed fit after two morning inspections but, after a heavy downpour during the first half, the referee called a halt to proceedings after the teams returned from the dressing-rooms to find large puddles on the surface.

The match was the only one in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central to get under way and the abandonment means Diamonds remain three points behind leaders Chalfont St Peter.

Peaks felt a “sensible call” was made by the match official in the end.

He said: “It was a real shame because I spoke to the people at the club on Friday night and they had given up hope at that stage and organised the inspection for 9am.

“But it improved overnight and they were working on it from 7am right up until kick-off to ensure the game started.

“But it started raining at 2.50pm and it didn’t stop and the longer it went on, the worse the conditions became.

“The referee had one look at it after half-time and that was it. To be honest, it was just getting worse and worse as time went on.

“And, with it being 0-0 at the time, it was probably the sensible call to make.”

Peaks was pleased with how his team had started the game, although he felt Arlesey’s display proved they will cause other sides problems in the remainder of the campaign.

“I made changes because it really wasn’t a day for wingers so we had a different formation and for the the first 20 minutes I thought we did pretty well,” he added.

“They were probably in the ascendency towards the end of the half but I still felt we could go on and win the game.

“But Arlesey have been a much-improved side and what that first half did prove is that teams like them will be more than capable of taking points of any side.”

Diamonds will now be hoping the weather and pitch conditions improve ahead of Tuesday night when they are due to host St Ives Town.