St Ives’ big game under threat from the elements

ST Ives Town’s big FA Vase game against Grelsley is in doubt.

The club’s Westwood Road pitch is currently covered with snow and there will be a pitch inspection on Thursday. But joint manager Jez Hall isn’t holding out too much hope that the game will go ahead, despite club secretary Simon Clark placing his trust in an altogether higher authority than the one who will be giving the pitch its once-over. “It’s in the hands of Him upstairs,” said Clark. “I will be praying for a good outcome.”

St Ives’ United Counties Premier Division game against Spalding United was postponed on Saturday – along with the majority of the country’s football matches – because of a frozen pitch. Westwood Road was then blanketed in snow on Saturday evening and remains covered ahead of the Thursday inspection. Even if the pitch passes that test, there will be another inspection on Saturday morning. “I don’t hold out much hope, to be honest,” said Hall. “We are still planning as if the game is going to go ahead this Saturday – but it’s unlikely at the moment.

“We are currently looking for places to train indoors – but that’s proving a problem too.

“There’s a great buzz around the town for the match so it’s a shame – but if it doesn’t happen this week, it will be scheduled for the following Saturday – and the following Saturday after that until it is played.”

St Ives are in the last 16 of the national competition for the fourth out of five seasons – and a large crowd is expected when the game goes ahead.

Predictions vary from 400 to 800 but Clark sees no reason why they can’t top 1,000. “It’s a massive game for the club and the town,” he said.

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Conor Washington scored Ives only goal of their 1-1 draw at Depping Rangers on the last day of January, Tuesday 31. “It was an outstanding goal,” said Hall, but he told The Hunts Post: “In the second half the pitch cut up and restricted both sides to half chances.”

St Ives are currently fourth in the Premier Division table.

Meanwhile, Huntingdon Town manager Ricky Marheineke, and star player Declan Rogers, were named UCL Division One manager and player of the month this week.

Huntingdon are currently second only to Harborough Town in that division.