‘We can’t train on it so why should the opposing team train on it’ - Lynn boss after pitch ‘hijack’
Ian Culverhouse said the unseemly reaction of visiting Alvechurch players and management following the postponement of the game at The Walks was “out of order”.
Overnight frost had left the pitch unplayable, with an area in front of the main stand frozen just under the surface, but Alvechurch had left their base 130 miles away in the Midlands at 10am having been assured the match would go ahead.
The first inspection was not made until 2pm and the decision was immediate - prompting a bizarre pitch ‘hijack’ as Alvechurch players were put through a mini training regime. Lynn’s director of football Robbie Back, manager Ian Culverhouse and his assistant Paul Bastock were unable to stop them, prompting several minutes of pushing, shoving and verbal exchanges.
“I think it was a little bit out of order to be fair,” said Culverhouse. “It’s the first time I have ever seen it, but you don’t do that. It is not our fault that the game has been called off. We wanted to play as much as them and they seem to be blaming us for getting them all the way down here.
“We can’t train on it so why should the opposing team train on it?”
Culverhouse declined to comment on the actions of his opposite number, Ian Long, who instructed his players to continue their training, despite Lynn’s insistence and the presence of a number of club stewards.
Long had tried to prove the pitch was playable before the 2pm inspection, putting his players through a warm-up while ‘forking’ the pitch.
However, Culverhouse said the decision to postpone was the right one – and had some sympathy with the visitors’ frustrations.
“I think we should have had an inspection a lot earlier, or even the day before,” said the Linnets boss.
“They have travelled a long way – if it was around the other way we would been as annoyed as they were.
“I think this side (the main stand) is too dangerous and all you need is someone to bang a head or something like that and we would be in trouble so I think the right decision has been made, but it could have been done earlier.”
Culverhouse had been eager to build momentum after the midweek win over Royston and said minor hamstring injuries to Adam Marriott and Jordan Richards during the game had cleared up.
“They were both going to be fit so it would have been nice to carry on, coming back off the win in midweek to keep the momentum going,” he said. “Now we have a full week, but it is pros and cons really because we can get two sessions into them, but it is disappointing that we have not been able to go on after Tuesday.”