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Shots fans have a wasted journey

Manager Borg is bitter as cold blow freezes big match

GEORGE Borg has apologised to fans for a wasted trip to Gravesend after the top-of-the-table New Years Day clash at Stonebridge Road became one of seven Ryman League fixtures to fall victim to the weather.

An estimated 200 supporters travelled across to Kent only to be turned away at 1.45pm when match referee Mick Russell finally called the match off after a third pitch inspection.

But Borg was angry that no decision had been made earlier when it seemed obvious from the outset that the icy conditions would have endangered the safety of the players.

The boss said: "We got there at about 1pm and we could see then that the game was never going to be played.

"There were two areas of the pitch which were rock hard - one of which, opposite the dug-outs, about 40 or even 50 foot large.

"I spoke to their manager Andy Ford, who was happy with the conditions but I think he must have been the only one as Nick Burton [ex- Aldershot defender now at Gravesend] agreed with me.

"I wasn't prepared to put my players at risk, I'm just sorry that no decision was made early enough to prevent the fans from travelling. Once again common sense hasn't prevailed but it no longer comes as a shock to me. "

Mr Russell first looked at the pitch but 1.30pm but then decided to hold a third inspection 15 minutes later when the sun came out and the pitch started to show signs of melting.

In truth, though, the game was never likely to be played.

Borg however found time to catch the second half of the only Ryman premier division game that took place - down the road at Grays. The home side beat Boreham Wood 3-2 but Borg described the match as a ‘lottery'.

Elsewhere, it was reported that officials of Billericay and Sutton United almost came to blows over their decision to postpone the match at Gander Green Lane.

The Essex club were furious at having organised coach trips to Surrey only to find, at the very last minute, that the pitch was frozen.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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