Game off call down to safety

Ashington CFC football secretary Brian Robson.
Ashington CFC football secretary Brian Robson.

ASHINGTON’S FA Vase fourth round tie against Bodmin Town in Cornwall was called off last weekend for health and safety reasons.

The decision was taken on Thursday afternoon following consultations with the relevant authorities.

And Woodhorn Lane secretary Brian Robson, who is approaching six months in the post, said: “First of all, I want to let the supporters know exactly what happened and why the game was postponed.

“I’d had concerns all week due to the extensive coverage in the media regarding the weather and I had spoken to Steve Clark, the competitions secretary at the Football Association on several occasions regarding the fixture.

“The FA’s stand point was that ‘if the pitch is playable, Ashington should attempt to travel’.”

The team coach was scheduled to leave the ground at 9am on Friday morning.

Mr Robson added: “My primary concern was for the safety of the players, officials and supporters – that was of paramount importance – and after taking advice from the Met Office and the AA on Thursday morning, they said that in their opinion only essential travel should be attempted.

“The coach company also contacted the club to express concerns not only for the safety of the drivers but also the expected road conditions.

“After taking this all into consideration I contacted the FA with my concerns.

“The FA then stated that the decision regarding the playing of the cup tie would be left with me.

“Regrettably, after consulting with the executive board at Woodhorn Lane, the decision was made to postpone the match – much to the frustration, I may add, of the officials at Ashington CFC.”

Mr Robson went on to issue an apology on behalf of the club to the fans: “Ashington CFC would like to apologise to all supporters who had planned to travel independently,” he said.

“As a football supporter myself who travels around the world watching football, I know how frustrating this can be when it happens.

“I can assure them that the decision was not taken lightly but it was the safety of all which was the primary concern.”

The tie has been rescheduled for this coming Saturday.