Game off call stuns boss

BOSS Neil Aspin was stunned when he walked through the players’ entrance at Whitby to be confronted by a waterlogged pitch.

The Shay chief already knew that the surface had passed a noon inspection but a second look by the referee 80 minutes before the scheduled kick confirmed the worst - Town and their travelling fans had endured a wasted journey to the east coast.

“It never entered my mind on Saturday morning that the game could be off,” said Aspin.

“Then when you get a call to say there is an inspection, there must be some sort of doubt.

“We got to the ground to discover there was a further inspection but once you walked on the pitch there was never a doubt.

“The pitch was waterlogged, especially down the middle.

“It may not have looked too bad from the side but when you walked on it, it was unplayable.

“There was no option but to call the game off and while it was frustrating to get all the way there the referee had no choice.

“The only saving grace was that if we’d played we would have struggled to knock the ball about.”

Going into the game, Aspin’s major worry was that Town’s push for the title may get blown off course by the wind.

“My biggest fear was that there would be a strong wind which would make it difficult,” he said.

“It was one of the best days in that regard.

“I have never known a season like it with so many Saturday games called off.

“I think we could have played five or six more without the call offs.

“That is why, when people say we have done this and done that, I say we haven’t done anything.

“Going into March you might think so, but with 15 games to go, that’s not the case.

“Worksop still have 21 games left to so there is a lot of football to be played.”

Worksop’s scheduled clash with Kendal on Retford’s glue pot of a pitch was also called off which means they can still get to within 10 points of the Shaymen but only if they win their four games in hand.

Buxton’s challenge suffered another setback as they went down 2-1 at Ashton United where Aaron Burns scored twice in the last eight minutes.

That means the Derbyshire club can now only close to within 13 points of Aspin’s side if they win their two games in hand.

Matlock moved to second place, 11 points behind Town, with a 4-1 win at Marine, but have played a game more.

North Ferriby and FC United of Manchester continued their good runs but have played a game more than the Shaymen and are 14 and 18 points behind respectively.

No new date has been arranged for the Whitby trip as Town prepare for the first of nine games in March at home to Worksop tomorrow.