NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Frustrated St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke calls for changes after late postponement

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke. - Credit: Archant

Manager Ricky Marheineke wants new measures to be introduced to avoid late postponements after seeing St Ives Town’s home clash against Royston called off little more than an hour before kick-off last night.

The Southern League Premier Division clash at ProEdge Westwood Road was given the go-ahead following a pitch inspection by a local referee at lunchtime.

But the game was then called off by match referee Martyn Gospel at around 6.40pm due to concerns over parts of the surface.

Marheineke said: “It’s very frustrating to say the least. I was with the referee who inspected the pitch at lunchtime and heard the conversation he had with the match referee, who was happy.

“When he arrived at the ground he was then unhappy with a couple of areas of the pitch. After consulting both managers, he felt player safety was at risk so called the game off.

“We’ve played on a far worse pitch than this at Tiverton and also our own pitch was in poorer condition than last night when we played St Neots.

“There need to be better measures in place to ensure this doesn’t happen. Last night cost the club a lot of money.

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“The referee still received his expenses and half of his match fee, which is not bad for 30 minutes of work!”

The match is now likely to have to be rearranged for a Thursday due to teams having a backlog of fixtures following a particularly wet winter.

But there was at least one source of cheer for Marheineke and Saints yesterday as they successfully extended the loan of Cambridge United youngster Tom Knowles until the end of the season. The highly-rated wideman has hit three goals in eight appearances for the club since arriving in early January.