Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Late postponement prompts pitch work at Concord Rangers
REMEDIAL work will be carried out on Concord’s pitch at the Aspect Arena following Tuesday night’s controversial cup tie postponement.
The club has consulted a professional groundsman and four drainage trenches will now be dug into the small section near a sideline which prompted the referee to call-off a county cup semi with Colchester 10 minutes before kick-off.
Concord manager Danny Cowley said: “The area of the pitch that caused concern is being dug up this week.
“We have taken advice on the best way to remedy it and we have a plan to sort it out.
“It won’t look pretty but it will hopefully tackle the job.”
Despite the renovation, Cowley added his frustrations to those of Colchester counterpart Joe Dunne about the postponement.
Cowley said: “The really frustrating part is that it could have been avoided. Things are hard for referees because they have a lot to consider.
“But with all the rain we have had I think he could have checked the pitch earlier.
“And with all the games we have had called off recently, it really was hard to take.”
Cowley says they have now offered Colchester dates in early March to play the game again and are waiting to hear back.
Dunne had named a very strong U’s side for the game which featured a number of first teamers, but suggested after the call-off he may have to field a weaker team for the rescheduled match.
Cowley said: “It would have been tough against that side, but those are the sort of games where you get really good feedback on your players because they are playing a good side.
“But with our fixture list we may also have to use of squad next time because – although this is a very important competition to us – our main focus has to be on the league and staying up.”
Concord were dealt a blow even before the game was called off with confirmation that Essex FA would not allow them to play their two new, young loan recruits from West Ham to play.
Midfielder Taylor Miles, 19, and right-back Rob Girdlestone, 18, were both made unavailable because the necessary paperwork had not bee completed.
Cowley said: “West Ham had filled in the relevant section on the loan form to say they could play in any games for us.
“But the FA wanted that information duplicated in a separate letter.
“It was a very convoluted situation and an example of bureaucracy at its worst. It was another big frustration and it also means they will not be able to play against Colchester in the rearranged game either.”