Horsham FC hit by winter of bad weather

Football –

Horsham are counting the cost of their seventh and eighth postponements of a weather-ravaged season.

The Hornets were due to face Chipstead on Saturday and Whitstable three days later, both at Gorings Mead, but the first match was called off because the pitch was waterlogged and the second fell victim to snow and a frozen pitch.

Frustrated chief executive John Lines told The District Post: “We’ve had eight matches postponed this season, three of which have been against Whitstable. Two have been away and six at home.

“This doesn’t include two or three Saturday matches that were postponed due to our opposition being involved in either the FA Cup or the FA Trophy.

“On average we lose something in the region of £1,000 when a home game is called off on a Saturday and rearranged for a Tuesday. This is because midweek games are always considerably lower in attendance.

“Add to that the cost of wasted programme printing and the additional cost of reprint, referee’s expenses to inspect the pitch, the cost of wasted food preparation and ancillary revenue associated with a healthy crowd.

“We have lost the two most lucrative Saturday games this year, one against Dulwich Hamlet and the other against Maidstone United, who would most certainly have brought 300 travelling supporters with them on a Saturday but less than 100 on the Tuesday night.

“In fairness to the YMCA groundstaff volunteers at Gorings Mead, they have produced a very good pitch this year and no blame can be attached to them in any way for the postponements.

“They have worked very hard to try to get games on when it looked in doubt, but the weather has been exceptionally poor this season.

“The problem now is fitting in these lost games in midweek. There have been so many, it may be necessary to play Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, in an eight-day spell, which is always a problem when you have a limited squad of players.

“Let us hope that Tuesday’s game is the last one called off this season.”

Horsham are hoping for better luck with the weather as they prepare to visit Ramsgate on Saturday before facing Dulwich Hamlet at Gorings Mead on Tuesday.

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